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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Allegheny General Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) has received the 2013 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.  The award recognizes Allegheny General’s commitment and success in delivering excellent evidence-based care for stroke patients.

This is Allegheny’s fifth consecutive Stroke Gold honor from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, and the third time AGH received the Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.
To receive the Gold Plus award, AGH achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for 24 months and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. 
These measures include consistent and sustained use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“During an acute stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award demonstrates AGH’s ongoing commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing optimal stroke care,” said Ashis Tayal, MD, Director of AGH’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.   

In addition to the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke award, Allegheny General also has been recognized on the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tPA within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as “door-to-needle” time). The clot busting agent tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.
“Allegheny General Hospital is to be commended for implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, 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.  “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.”
The Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program places a special emphasis on 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.
“Get With The Guidelines–Stroke is one way that the stroke care team at Allegheny General remains focused on continually improving the quality of stroke care,” said David Wright, MD, a stroke neurologist and director of the AGH Inpatient Stroke Unit. “The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population and AGH is poised to provide specialized care and education for these patients.”
The Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll are the most recent of many prestigious honors bestowed upon Allegheny General’s stroke program.

In 2009, AGH ranked among the top 10 percent of U.S. medical centers for the treatment of stroke, according to a comprehensive study released by HealthGrades, a leading independent healthcare ratings organization. As a result, Allegheny General received the 2010 HealthGrades Stroke Care Excellence Award™ and a 5-Star stroke treatment rating for the third consecutive year. The hospital has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission since 2006 and was recently named a Stroke Center of Excellence in a national survey conducted by Chicago-based healthcare think tank, NeuStrategy.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

More than 1,300 stroke and transient ischemic attack patients are admitted to AGH annually.

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 www.heart.org/quality.



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