Cooley Dickinson Gets with the Guidelines Again

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital recently earned the American Heart Assoc./American Stroke Assoc. Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award.The award recognizes CDH’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment for at least 24 months according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award addresses the important element of time,” said Tammy Cole-Poklewski, the hospital’s director of quality. CDH has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain-imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations, and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

To receive the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award, CDH demonstrated 85{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} adherence to the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke key measures for 24 or more consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs, and smoking cessation.

“The American Stroke Assoc. commends Cooley Dickinson Hospital for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Dr. Lee Schwamm, chair of the Get with the Guidelines (GWTG) 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.”

The receipt of the GWTG Stroke Gold Award marks the third time CDH has been recognized by the American Stroke Assoc. CDH received the GWTG Stroke ­– Bronze Quality Achievement Award in January 2007 and the GWTG Stroke – Silver Quality Achievement Award in October 2009.

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 health care 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 provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The time is right for CDH to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines –­ Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” added Cole-Poklewski.

According to the American Heart Assoc./American Stroke Assoc., stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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.

Comments are closed.