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Mountain Health Network Hospitals receive achievement awards

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) have received the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA).

CHH received the award for the seventh consecutive year and St. Mary’s received the award for the 10th consecutive year.

Get With The Guidelines is the AHA/ASA’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than six million patients since 2001.

“Our team is committed to pursuing best practices in stroke care,” said Justin Nolte, MD, medical director of Neurology at Cabell Huntington Hospital and associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in stroke care through the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association.”

“The main goals for our stroke team are to save lives and help patients recover quickly,” said Christy Franklin, MS, RN, CNRN, director, St. Mary’s Regional Neuroscience Center. “It’s extremely gratifying to be recognized by the American Stroke Association and the American Heart Association for our dedication to achieving those goals.”

CHH and SMMC earned the awards 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.

CHH additionally received the associations’ Target: Stroke Elite award, while SMMC received the Target: Stroke Honor Roll award. To qualify for these recognitions, 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.

Both hospitals also received the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award, which recognizes the hospitals met quality measures developed with more than 90 percent of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

“Education and a commitment to excellence have helped us to again gain this prestigious recognition,” said Mitzi Beckett, BSN, SCRN, stroke program coordinator at CHH. “It also helps us raise the bar and continue to focus on the best for our patients.”

“We are pleased to recognize Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, 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 fifth leading 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.