Renown Regional Receives America Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award|
RENO, Nev. (Dec. 18, 2008) – Renown Regional Medical Center recently received the Silver Performance Achievement Award Recognition Level for implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the GuidelinesSM – Stroke (GWTG) program. The hospital is not only the lone hospital in northern Nevada with this prestigious distinction, but also previously held the Bronze Performance Achievement Award, for excellence in stroke care.
“Stroke is the leading cause of disability and third most common cause of death in the United States,” said Paul M. Katz, MD, medical director of Renown’s Institute for Neurosciences. “This distinction recognizes that Renown is addressing stroke care in a systematic way to ensure clinical protocols are consistently followed in a timely manner leading to improved patient outcomes.”
The GWTG – Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award acknowledges Renown Regional for its proven commitment to provide the best quality of cardiovascular and stroke care to patients. 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 the usage of clot-busting medications when appropriate.
To achieve the GWTG – Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award Renown Regional became a Get With The GuidelinesSM participating hospital and demonstrated 85 percent adherence on the GWTG – Stroke performance measures for 12 consecutive months via an abstract submission. Measures include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. The 12-month evaluation period is the second 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 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.”
GWTG–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 healthcare 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 GWTG–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles.
This recognition is one of several quality distinctions that Renown’s Comprehensive Stroke Center holds. Others include being featured in the “America’s Best Hospitals” issue of “U.S. News & World Report,” which was released on July 21. The Comprehensive Stroke Center is also the first in Nevada to earn the gold Seal of Approval 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. In May 2008 Dr. Katz presented in front of Congress at a briefing about stroke telemedicine in Washingonton, D.C.
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.
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