Renown First in Northern Nevada to Receive American Heart Association Quality Award for Stroke Care|
Reno, Nev. (July 2, 2008)—Renown Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in northern Nevada to be awarded the Get With The GuidelinesSM– Stroke (GWTG) Bronze Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Renown Regional’s commitment to and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care. This ensures that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.
“Stroke is a major public health problem,” said Paul M. Katz, MD, medical director of Renown’s Institute for Neurosciences. “With a stroke, time lost is brain lost. This distinction recognizes that Renown is addressing stroke care in a systematic way that ensures clinical protocols are consistently followed in a timely manner leading to improved patient outcomes.”
The GWTG – Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award acknowledges that Renown Regional has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency room. This includes the ability, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide brain imaging scans, have neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
To receive the GWTG – Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award, Renown Regional consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the GWTG – Stroke program for 90 days. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.
“The American Stroke Association commends Renown Regional for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee Member and director of the acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”
This recognition is one of several quality distinctions that Renown’s Comprehensive Stroke Center holds. Others include being the first in Nevada to earn the gold Seal of Approvalâ Primary Stroke Center Certification for stroke care by The Joint Commission, as well as recertification for this achievement. In addition, the center was also nationally recognized as a model for other communities, especially for its work with patients in rural Nevada, an under-served community in need for optimizing its healthcare experience.
Earlier this year, Dr. Katz presented in front of Congress at a briefing about stroke telemedicine in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the briefing was to educate members of Congress and the Congressional staff about how telehealth technology can be used to improve access to and the quality of acute stroke care.
Dr. Katz, the area’s leading stroke expert gave an overview of Renown’s program detailing how it works, who it serves, and how it has improved stoke care outcomes. With the use of telemedicine, Dr. Katz is personally involved with patients at a distance by examining them and working with the nurse in a rural location over the Internet.
According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 780,000 people suffer a stroke — 600,000 are first attacks and 180,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors aged 49 and older, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year. For those aged 70 and older, the percentages are even higher.