ST. GEORGE — Dixie Regional Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’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.
For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality-improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.
For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the B. E. F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke, which are:
- B Balance – sudden loss of balance or coordination
- E Eyes – sudden change in vision
- F Face – sudden weakness of the face
- A Arms – sudden weakness of an arm or leg
- S Speech – sudden difficulty speaking
- T Time – note the time the symptoms started
In stroke patients, time is brain. During a stroke, 32,000 brain cells die every second, so every second counts to help prevent brain damage.
To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods, as well as achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality measures.
These 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.
Deepak L. Bhatt, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee, said the following:
We are pleased to recognize Dixie Regional Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care. Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines 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 the number five 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.
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