Albany Memorial Hospital – an affiliate of St. Peter’s Health Partners, the region’s largest health system – has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines (GWTG)-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Albany Memorial’s commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
To receive the Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to GWTG-stroke achievement indicators, and 75 percent or higher compliance with five or more GWTG-stroke quality measures for 12 consecutive months to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.
GWTG 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. They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling.
“Albany Memorial has always been committed to ensuring that our stroke patients receive the highest quality care based on nationally respected clinical guidelines,” said Glen Cooper, executive director of Albany Memorial Hospital. “This recognition of our GWTG quality measures truly reflects the work of our dedicated team of physicians and nurses to ancillary support staff who work together as one in achieving this level of care for our patients.”
Albany Memorial is an official Designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health for prompt, coordinated care and treatment of strokes.
“We are pleased to recognize Albany Memorial for its commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairmen of the GWTG 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 which consistently follow GWTG quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is fifth 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.
GWTG is a quality improvement program designed to help hospitals to develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes, help save lives and reduce readmissions rates, and ultimately reduce health care cost for stroke patients. The program includes best practice discharge protocols and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance, as well as guidelines on helping patients manage their risk factors and recognize the warning signs of stroke. GWTG has touched the lives of more than 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, please visit www.heart.org/quality or www.heart.org/QualityMap.