Upstate’s stroke care wins quality achievement award

Upstate University Hospital and its Upstate Stroke Center have received a top quality achievement award and honor roll recognition from the American Heart/American Stroke associations for stroke care.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Upstate has earned the associations’ Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award is the highest recognition given to hospitals for successfully implementing the associations’ specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of stroke patients. The measures help Upstate, as well as other hospital teams, provide the most up-to-date, research-based principles with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

In addition, and for the third consecutive year, Upstate was named to the associations’ Target: Stroke Honor Roll. Upstate received this distinction for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat acute ischemic stroke.

Rochele “Shelly” Clark, RN, coordinator of Upstate’s Stroke Center, says that Upstate’s stroke team is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps the team achieve that goal.

“It is important to focus our efforts on providing care that is based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines that have been scientifically proven to increase the likelihood of successful clinical outcomes for our patients,” said Clark.

The award also validates Upstate’s success in meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period, including aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.

The guidelines are also used by Upstate’s stroke team to implement stroke prevention measures, such as patient education materials related to managing risk factors, creating awareness of stroke warning signs and teaching patients how to properly take their medications. The team also offers customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles, and key take-away materials that are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.

“Educating the general public and certified first responders about stroke is also a priority of ours,” said Clark. “Members of our team regularly present free, public seminars on stroke awareness. We also present stroke teaching days and other programs for certified first line responders to improve how we work together to provide the highest level of stroke care.”

The Upstate Stroke Center
• Upstate Medical University is the first hospital in Syracuse to be recognized by the state Health Department as a state-designated stroke center and the first hospital in New York to be certified as a Primary Stoke Center by DNV, the nation’s leading accrediting agency for U.S. hospitals.

• The three treatment stages for stroke at the Upstate Stroke Center are prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke, and rehabilitation. The stroke team provides advanced care, including the use of technology for clot retrieval that extends the window and acute rehabilitation for stroke.

Visit Upstate Stroke Center for more information about stroke, including the signs of stroke, general risk factors of stroke, stroke risks for specific ethnic groups, stroke treatment, and women and stroke.

To view the Upstate Stroke Center television commercial on youtube, visit Stroke Center.

Caption: Rochele “Shelly” Clark, RN, coordinator of Upstate’s Stroke Center, distributes information at a stroke awareness display May 14 at Upstate’s Downtown Campus.

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