St. Vincent’s receives AHA Quality Awards for stroke and heart failure

St. Vincent’s Medical Center recently earned four Quality Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association for 2018.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with      

Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll

These awards recognize St. Vincent’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Hospitals must achieve 85% or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75% or higher compliance with seven of ten Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients. This marks the fifth consecutive year that St. Vincent’s has been recognized with this award.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll, 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. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll

This award recognizes St. Vincent’s commitment to implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions. 2018 marks the third consecutive year that St. Vincent’s has been recognized with this quality achievement award.

To qualify for the Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll, hospitals are required to meet specific criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life managing this chronic condition.

The Effects of Stroke and Heart Failure in the United States

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 795,000people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.  

According to the American Heart Association, about 6.5 million adults in the U.S. are living with heart failure. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

St. Vincent’s Commitment

“St. Vincent’s is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart failure and stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines HF and Stroke initiatives” said Dawn Rudolph, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Vincent’s Medical Center. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”           

“We are pleased to recognize St. Vincent’s for their commitment to stroke care and heart failure 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.”

To learn more about St. Vincent’s Primary Stroke Center of Excellence, visit https://www.stvincents.org/Medical-Services/Heart-Vascular/Stroke/stroke-center-of-excellence.

To learn more about St. Vincent’s Heart Failure Clinic, visit https://www.stvincents.org/Medical-Services/Heart-Vascular/heart-failure-clinic.