Avera McKennan Receives Gold Plus Award for Excellence in Stroke Care
SIOUX FALLS (June 7, 2011) – Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Avera McKennan’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTG-Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award demonstrates Avera McKennan’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Mary Jones, Avera McKennan director of Neuroscience. “Avera McKennan has developed a comprehensive protocol for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients,” Jones said. This includes being equipped 24/7 to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications and other therapies when appropriate.
To receive the award, Avera McKennan achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals. In addition, the “Plus” signifies that Avera McKennan achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. “Our neurologists, hospitalists, Neuro Unit staff and Emergency Department staff at Avera McKennan do an excellent job of achieving all these measures,” Jones added.
Avera McKennan achieved the GWTG Gold Award in 2010, and Silver Award in 2008 and 2009. Avera McKennan has been using GTWG-Stroke since 2004. “We have been able to improve our outcomes by decreasing complications and reducing readmissions, and provide enhanced education not only to patients, families and caregivers but to the community as well,” Jones said. “We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”
Get With The Guidelines–Stroke uses the “teachable moment” – the time soon after a patient has had a stroke – when they are most likely to listen to and follow their health care professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.
Through Get With The Guidelines–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at discharge. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool gives health care providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.
In 2005, the Avera McKennan Stroke Center became the first in South Dakota to achieve Joint Commission certification as a primary stroke center. Certification signifies that the services a facility provides have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
To learn more, go to www.AveraNeuro.org