Salina Regional Health Center’s efforts to improve stroke care in the region have earned it special recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Officials from the association were on hand Wednesday to present the Get With The Guidelines®– Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus Award – the highest levels
of stroke care recognition offered by the association.
Hospitals that receive Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award recognition must meet 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.
To qualify for the Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus Award 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, Activase® (tPA), the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
Research shows the quicker patients with ischemic stroke receive treatment, the better the outcomes.
In 2017 90 percent of ischemic stroke patients meeting criteria to receive tPA, received the treatment within 60 minutes of arrival at Salina Regional Health Center, including 100 percent of patients the last three quarters of the year. More than half of eligible patients received tPA in less than 45 minutes from arrival time.
“We are 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 Jeremiah Ostmeyer, M.D., an emergency department physician and medical director for the stroke program at Salina Regional. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”
In 2017 Salina Regional’s stroke response team was activated 540 times to evaluate patients suspected of suffering a stroke. The hospital’s stroke response team was initiated in 2016 to provide a 24/7 dedicated focus for stroke patient care. The team consists of emergency room physicians, nurses, radiology staff, pharmacists and lab personnel who have all received specialized training. The team can be activated by emergency responders and ready to receive and help treat patients the moment they arrive in the hospital’s emergency department. The hospital’s efforts also earned it Primary Stroke Center Certification by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program in 2017.
“We are pleased to recognize Salina Regional Health Center for its commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “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.