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October 22, 2012

Fisher-Titus Medical Center Receives American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award

BAUER_BRENDAN.jpgFisher-Titus Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes Fisher-Titus Medical Center's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

This marks the first year that Fisher-Titus has been recognized with a quality achievement award.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps Fisher-Titus Medical Center's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives.

"Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes," said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. "The Fisher-Titus team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients."

Following Get With The Guidelines-Stroke treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

"Fisher-Titus is dedicated to making our care for stroke patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program helps us to accomplish this goal," said Dr. Brendan Bauer, a board certified neurologist and chairman of the Fisher-Titus Stroke Program. "This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we're very proud of our team."

Fisher-Titus Medical Center is certified as a Primary Stroke Certification through the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP). The Medical Center's highly skilled stroke team includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, rehabilitation specialists, case managers, quality managers and education coordinators. Since December 2005, specialized stroke training was initiated throughout the hospital for employees. Radiologist technicians were trained in performing CT scans of the brain so that they can be performed at any time day or night. In addition, a rapid response team was developed to respond quickly to patients with stroke symptoms so they can be evaluated and treated with the most current evidence-based medical treatment. In addition, the team also has focused on community education about signs and symptoms of stroke, treating stroke symptoms as a medical emergency and the importance of calling 911.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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.

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.