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American Heart Association Award recognizes Baystate Wing Hospital’s commitment to quality stroke care

July 03, 2019

Baystate Wing Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Baystate Wing Hospital 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 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.

"Baystate Wing Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Dr. Robert Spence, chief of emergency medicine for Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Additionally, Baystate Wing Hospital received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite award. To qualify for this recognition, 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.

“Since a stroke patient may lose 1.9 billion neurons each minute that stroke treatment is delayed, time to treatment is of the utmost importance,” said Dr. Spence. “This award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognizes the success of our on-going commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatment to our patients quickly and safely. Our staff works closely with area EMS providers to initiate a stroke alert when they recognize a patient with stroke symptoms in the field. Once they initiate that stroke alert, our team assembles to begin the stroke assessment and treatment the moment a patient arrives in our ER. This award also demonstrates the success of the team’s hard work.”

“We are pleased to recognize Baystate Wing Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of neurology, director of acute stroke services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

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 and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.