Jefferson Healthcare receives Awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Jefferson Healthcare has received two awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Associations.  The first is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. An award which 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. The second is the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-AFIB Silver Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation.

Each achievement is awarded by meeting specific quality measures at a set level for a designated period.  For the treatment of stroke patients 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.  For atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke and other complications, the measures include providing appropriate medications and aggressive risk reduction therapies to prevent stroke, stabilize the heart rate and rhythm and treat additional heart disease. Similar to stroke patients, before discharge, AFIB patients should also receive education and counseling on managing their condition and plans on follow-up care.

“Jefferson Healthcare is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients and our patients with atrial fibrillation by implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-protocol,” said Brandie Manuel, Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our successes in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

“We are pleased to recognize Jefferson Healthcare for their commitment to stroke and atrial fibrillation care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., 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 number five 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.  More than 2.7 million adults suffer from atrial fibrillation.  The condition accounts for about one-third of hospitalizations for cardiac rhythm disturbance and is associated with a five-fold increase risk of stroke. Proper treatment of atrial fibrillation can reduce these risks.

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