Pictured (L-R): Martha Baker, RN, Quality Measures Specialist; Beth Pappas, RN, Quality Measures Specialist; Amanda Adcock, CRNP, Neurology; Debbie Cardwell, RN, MSN, American Heart Association
Cullman Regional has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver 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 interventions.
“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 Chief Executive Officer. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”
Cullman Regional additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll 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.
“We are pleased to recognize Cullman Regional for their commitment to stroke 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.”
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 access for patients to clinical specialists that are not in their community, but who can address their issues. Through using this technology, it eliminates long wait times to see specialists in time-sensitive emergencies and prevents patients from having to drive 2-5 hours to see an expert in neurologic emergency treatment.