HOLYOKE, MA — August 25, 2020 —Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has received four prestigious national and state awards for excellence and quality of stroke care in Massachusetts. The awards include the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus, Target: Stroke Elite Plus, & Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Award, and three awards were given by the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
“Holyoke Medical Center is honored to once again be recognized for excellence in stroke care. The recognition would not be possible without the dedicated and consistent quality care provided by all members of our team,” said Angela Smith, R.N., HMC’s Manager of Stroke Service.
Recognition for HMC’s stroke program included:
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association:
Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus, Target: Stroke Elite Plus, & Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll 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. HMC 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 also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.
HMC additionally received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus 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.
HMC also received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90 % of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”
Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
The door to CT measure demonstrates the percent of stroke patients receiving a CT scan in less than 25 minutes from the time of arrival at the emergency department. For the award, the measure includes all patients who were eligible for treatment and arrived to the hospital via EMS. This is a new award this year. Hospitals are encouraged to include EMS agencies in quality improvement activities aimed at improving this measure.
The dysphagia screening measure captures the percent of stroke patients who undergo screening for dysphagia with an evidence-based bedside testing protocol approved by the hospital before being given any food, fluids, or medication by mouth. This is a challenging measure for many organizations.
The Modified Rankin Scale measure captures the percent of patients who have a modified rankin score documented at the time of discharge. This is an optional element. Coverdell is encouraging hospitals to focus on completing this element.
“Holyoke Medical Center is committed to following evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes, such as those implemented by the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Spiros Hatiras, President and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems. “We commend our team for continuing to efficiently utilize the tools and resources provided to help us track and measure our success for the benefit of every patient.”
“We are pleased to recognize Holyoke Medical Center for their commitment to stroke 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 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.