Barb McGrath, R.N., FirstHealth of the Carolinas stroke coordinator and Melanie Blacker, M.D., FirstHealth Stroke Center medical director, accept the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® award.
PINEHURST—FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital has been awarded the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award and Target Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll.
The awards recognize the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines according to the latest scientific evidence.
The FirstHealth service area is in the “stroke belt” where the incidence of stroke is higher than in other areas of the country. North Carolina is ranked the 6th highest state for stroke mortality, 23% higher than the US rate.
In the past 10 years (2008 to 2018), the number of stroke patients treated at FirstHealth hospitals has increased significantly from 470 to 685 annually.
“FirstHealth is dedicated to providing the highest quality care for our patients with stroke through the implementation of the Get with the Guidelines initiative,” says Barb McGrath, R.N., FirstHealth of the Carolinas stroke coordinator. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”
Moore Regional Hospital earned the Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.
These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.
To qualify for the Target Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster alteplase, a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
“This award represents the highest category of stroke center awards given by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association,” says McGrath. “It is truly a great achievement and the result of tremendous work and dedication by our pre-hospital EMS staff, physicians, nurses, imaging technicians, quality coordinators and tele-communicators who work tirelessly day in and day out to make sure our patients with stroke and TIA are provided the very best care possible.”
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to 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 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit www.heart.org.