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Baystate Franklin Medical Center receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award

May 25, 2016

Baystate Franklin Medical Center received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. This is Baystate Franklin’s third consecutive year earning a Gold Plus rating.

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 and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke 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 tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Baystate Franklin earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed, so time is of the essence. This award recognizes our commitment at BFMC to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said Thomas Higgins, MD, MCCM, FACP, interim president and chief medical officer at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. “It takes a big multidisciplinary team effort to ensure each stroke patient gets top-decile care. I am proud of every member of the stroke team for continuing to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke” further reinforces our team’s hard work and commitment to excellent patient care.”

Paul Heidenreich, MD, MS, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and professor of Medicine at Stanford University, said. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize Baystate Franklin Medical Center for its commitment to stroke care”

Get With The Guidelines®-S puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines®-S has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.

“My wife Vanna is living proof of what a stroke care team can do,” said Terry Ruggles, Greenfield, whose wife suffered a stroke on January 16 and is fully recovered. “With the help of MedCare Ambulance, we were able to get to the emergency department in time for Vanna to qualify for tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) infusion. From slurred speech, crooked smile, no left side movement, vision problems at 8:45 pm to full recovery just about an hour later, she was a true success story.” In a February 12 letter to the editor (Recorder), a thankful Ruggles wrote, “MedCare Ambulance and Baystate Franklin Medical Center made possible this ‘miracle on High Street.’ It is great to have these capabilities in Greenfield.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.