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Baptist Health Louisville receives Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award



Award demonstrates Baptist Health Louisville’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients

Baptist Health Louisville has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.  The award recognizes Baptist Health’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, Baptist Health Louisville achieved of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.  

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol- reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.            

In addition to the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke award, Baptist Health Louisville has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving timeliness of stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates Baptist Health Louisville’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Denise Carroll, neurosciences director. “We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”

“Baptist Health Louisville is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance.  Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

Through Get With The Guidelines–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool gives healthcare providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“Get With The Guidelines–Stroke becomes increasingly important with the aging of a large population of baby boomers that will give rise to an increasing population of stroke patients. Our hope is not that there is a larger population of stroke patients; rather, we hope with increasing awareness of signs of stroke that people get to the hospital sooner so as to benefit from early treatment,” said Carroll. “This is how we can reduce death and disability from stroke.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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About Baptist Health Louisville

Baptist Health Louisville is among the top five hospitals in the state for neurosciences, total joint replacement, deliveries and emergency care. The 519-bed acute care facility serves patients in eastern Jefferson and surrounding counties. Baptist Health Louisville is a Joint Commission-certified Stroke Center.

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.  For more information, visit heart.org/quality.