Saint Peter’s University Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

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Saint Peter’s University Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Saint Peter’s earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period, according to a prepared statement. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

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“Saint Peter’s University Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” Linda Carroll, MSN, RN-BC, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, said in the statement. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Saint Peter’s also received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor RollTM award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

Saint Peter’s has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department, according to the statement.

In 2009, Saint Peter’s University Hospital was designated as a primary stroke center by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services. A primary stroke center is the first line of defense in diagnosing and treating stroke and preventing or minimizing permanent brain damage to the patient.

To receive this designation, Saint Peter’s had to meet certain criteria including: a specialized stroke team available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the hospital has, as required, computed tomography (CT) scanning or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) capabilities and a laboratory equipped and available to perform testing 24/7.

“We are pleased to recognize Saint Peter’s University Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, said in the statement. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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