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Emory hospitals receive top honors for stroke care

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Janet Christenbury

Four Emory Healthcare hospitals have been awarded top honors for excellence in the care of stroke patients.
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) have awarded Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Emory Johns Creek Hospital with the “Get with the Guidelines-Stroke” Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes a hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.
Hospitals receiving these awards must achieve a goal of treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher adherence to all “Get with the Guidelines-Stroke” achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods. They must also achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight of the program’s quality measures.
Emory University Hospital was also recognized in the “Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus” category for meeting quality measures to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster drug, tPA. tPA is 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.
Over a 12-month period, at least 75 percent of EUH’s ischemic stroke patients received tPA within 60 minutes of arriving (known as door-to-needle time), and at least 50 percent of patients received tPA within 45 minutes of arrival, both of which earned the hospital the “Elite Plus” status.
“Every minute counts in the treatment of patients with acute stroke and our collective success among Emory Healthcare hospitals highlights our drive to provide outstanding care to all of our acute stroke patients,” says Fadi Nahab, MD, medical director of the stroke program at Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown, and associate professor in the departments of neurology and pediatrics.
Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Emory Johns Creek Hospital were recognized on the “Target: Stroke Honor Roll,” meaning 50 percent of ischemic stroke patients at these hospitals received tPA within 60 minutes of arriving.

With a stroke, time lost is brain lost. The AHA/ASA’s “Get with the Guidelines-Stroke” program is based on nationally respected clinical guidelines for hospitals to follow and succeed, while improving quality, reducing the length of stay and lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

“These stroke awards signify a joint effort to provide both timely and top-quality stroke care among faculty and staff throughout our health care system,” says Babs Hargett, RN, corporate director for the Office of Quality for Emory Healthcare. “We are committed to this national quality improvement initiative aimed at improving ischemic stroke care and outcomes for our patients.”

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 U.S. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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