HCN News & Notes

Baystate Wing Hospital Receives Awards for Excellence in Stroke Care

PALMER — Baystate Wing Hospital has received the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality-improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Assoc./American Stroke Assoc. for the treatment of stroke patients, as well as the Defect-free Care Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Mass. Department of Public Health.

These awards recognize Baystate Wing Hospital’s commitment to and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“We are extremely proud of these awards and attribute them to the collaborative efforts of our stroke team,” said Dr. Mohammed Ahmed, chief operating officer and chief medical officer of the Baystate Health Eastern Region, which includes Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. “This team works together to ensure that we provide exceptional care to all of our patients and includes our physicians and nurses in the Emergency Department, our colleagues in the Laboratory, Radiology, and Physical Therapy, as well our dietitian and nurses on the patient-care units and in Quality and Education. Each member of the team has contributed in significant ways to this result.”

Get with the Guidelines – Stroke helps Baystate Wing’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient-management tool, best-practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

“This award demonstrates our hospitals’ commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally respected clinical guidelines,” said Gaye Harris, Quality Measures manager and Stroke Program coordinator for Baystate Wing Hospital, explaining that the hospital has a stroke-alert system with first responders bringing in a patient by ambulance. “Once the EMTs initiate that stroke alert, our team assembles to begin the stroke assessment and treatment the moment he or she arrives at the hospital. This coordination can mean the difference between life and death for a stroke patient.”

By following Get with the Guidelines – Stroke treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies, including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics, and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

According to the American Heart Assoc./American Stroke Assoc., stroke is the number-five cause of death, and a leading cause of adult disability, in the U.S. 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.