American Heart Association presents Cullman Regional team with award.
Pictured (L-R): Janet Chance, Infection Control and Quality Management Director; Frank Cunningham, RN, Emergency Services Director; Charna Brown, BSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer; Chad Knop, Emergency Services Manager; Mark Christensen, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Medicine; Debbie Cardwell, RN, MSN, American Heart Association; Beth Pappas, RN, MSN, Core Measures Specialist; Martha Baker, RN, Core Measures Specialist; William E. Smith Jr., MD, Chief Medical Officer; and Ali Ebrahimi, MD, Hospitalist.
Cullman Regional has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®– Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The 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.
Cullman Regional 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 should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition intervention.
“Cullman Regional is 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 James Clements, Cullman Regional CEO. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”
“We are pleased to recognize Cullman Regional 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.
In order to provide excellent emergency stroke care, Cullman Regional has partnered with the North Alabama Neuro-Stroke network through Huntsville Hospital. This allows patients’ access to clinical specialists that are not physically in their community, but who are able to provide clinical oversight virtually through a special computer cart. By using this technology, Cullman Regional is able to eliminate long wait times for care in time-sensitive emergencies and prevents patients from having to drive 2-5 hours to see an expert for neurologic emergency treatment.