The American Heart Association (AHA) has recognized the commitment that California's Alameda Health System has made towards quality care for stroke patients by conferring it with the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award under the Get With The Guidelines - Stroke program. The hospital has also qualified for Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite for consistently providing stroke treatment based on up-to-date evidence-based nationally-recognized guidelines.
To receive the Get With The Guidelines - Stroke recognition, a hospital must demonstrate at least 75% compliance with a minimum of five out of eight defined measures as well as at least 85 percent adherence with achievement indicators for at least two consecutive years. The measures and indicators are based on guidelines developed to reduce morbidity and mortality in stroke patients.
The Target: Stroke - Honor Roll Elite recognition is given to hospitals that meet quality guidelines with respect to the administration of tPA, the one drug that has received FDA approval as a treatment for ischemic stroke. When administered intravenously within three hours of symptoms first making their appearance, tPA can substantially lessen the ramifications of stroke as well as reduce the permanent disability resulting from it.
Claudine Dutaret, MD, medical director of Alameda Hospital's Primary Stroke Center, explains that for every minute that stroke therapy is delayed, nearly 2 million neurons in the person's brain are lost, which is why quick and safe delivery of acute treatment is so important in stroke. The awards and recognition from the AHA are a reinforcement of the hospital's dedication to excellence. To qualify as a primary stroke center, a hospital must meet specific guidelines for rapid diagnosis and treatment of patients with stroke and have a comprehensive system in place in its emergency department.
Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, Paul Heidenreich, MD, MS, who heads the Get With The Guidelines program, states the AHA and the American Stroke Association (ASA) have recognized Alameda Hospital for successfully adopting and implementing the program. Research has indicated a benefit to patients who receive treatment at hospitals committed to the program.
Get With The Guidelines uses the knowledge of the AHA and ASA in ensuring that patients receive care in alignment with what the most up-to-date research is showing. The objective is to lower mortality, reduce recovery time, and curtail the debilitating permanent effects of stroke. It is estimated that since 2003 the program has had an impact on at least 3 million stroke patients.
Statistics gathered by the AHA and ASA indicate that close to 800,000 new or repeat cases of stroke occur each year in the country. Stroke remains one of the leading causes of disability in adults and is the fifth biggest cause of death in America. The Get With The Guidelines program recognizes the efforts of hospitals such as Alameda that are working to save lives and hasten recovery from stroke.