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Doylestown Hospital Stroke Care Earns Gold Plus Award

10/21/2015
Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus

Award demonstrates Doylestown Hospital's commitment to quality care for stroke patients

DOYLESTOWN , OCT. 20, 2015 ― For the fourth year in a row, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association are recognizing Doylestown Hospital with the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. Doylestown Hospital also qualifies for Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus.

The award signifies Doylestown Hospital's commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Close collaboration with local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) allows the stroke team at Doylestown Hospital to respond to suspected stroke more quickly than ever before.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient's arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first 4.5 hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Doylestown Hospital 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.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

"We can not emphasize enough that 'Time is Brain'." said Brooke Kearins, MSN, CRNP, Director, Stroke Services at Doylestown Hospital. "Every minute counts when it comes to preserving functioning brain tissue. We know from almost 20 years of data that the faster we can assess and treat our stroke patients, the better the outcome they will have.

"Our work with EMS and the Emergency Department is an important reason we are receiving this award. It demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines," said Kearins. "Doylestown Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps us achieve that goal."

Doylestown Hospital 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. Close collaboration with local EMS results in a more efficient system to get suspected stroke patients the care they need more quickly than if the patient comes in on their own.

Doylestown Hospital stroke care

  • It is now standard of care that EMT's should be doing stroke assessments prior to arriving at the hospital (Cincinnati Pre-hospital Stroke Scale)
  • EMS alerts Doylestown Hospital in the case of suspected stroke, which activates a Stroke Alert before the patient arrives at the hospital
  • A Stroke Alert makes the CT scan in the Emergency Department available, and alerts the Radiology physician and technologist, the lab, Pharmacy, Stroke Services director and Neurologist
  • Appropriate patients should receive the clot-busting drug tPA within 3 to 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms
  • In two recent cases when an alert was called from the field, the physician was at the patient's bedside when the patient arrived; The patients each received a CT scan within five minutes of arrival
    • The door-to-tPA times were 33 minutes and 38 minutes (an alert was called from the field). Goal is 60 minutes or less.

"We are pleased to recognize Doylestown Hospital for their commitment to stroke care," said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care."

For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. 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.

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About Doylestown Hospital:

Doylestown Hospital is the flagship of the Doylestown Health system, a connected system of inpatient, outpatient and community services. Doylestown Hospital is nationally and regionally recognized for high quality and innovation. The Hospital has 232 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 425 physicians offering comprehensive healthcare services from childbirth to end-of-life care.

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality or heart.org/QualityMap