Holyoke Medical Center Earns Awards for Excellence in Stroke Care

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has received several prestigious national and state awards for excellence and quality of stroke care in Massachusetts.

The awards include the American Heart Assoc. (AHA) Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Quality Achievement Award, as well as three awards from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The awards were given for HMC’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

“Holyoke Medical Center consistently achieves stroke awards and recognition because of the dedication and commitment our team has to our patients. We are especially grateful to those working in the Emergency Department, ICU, and Imaging Services, all of whose help was critical to maintaining these designations,” said Dr. M. Zubair Kareem, medical director of the HMC Stroke Service.

The Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Award is given for commitment to prioritizing quality care for stroke patients by providing the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, the hospital provides education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

To qualify for AHA’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus award, HMC met 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.

Additionally, HMC received the AHA’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award, meeting quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.

HMC also met specific scientific guidelines as a primary stroke center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department.

The Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program awards recognize:

• Achieving door to CT in under 25 minutes from arrival for at least 75% of stroke patients. For this new award, the measure includes all patients who were eligible for alteplase treatment and arrived to the hospital via EMS between January and December 2020;

• Dysphagia screening greater than or equal to 95%, recognizing HMC for completing dysphagia screening on at least 95% of stroke patients from January to December 2020; and

• Modified Rankin Scale greater than or equal to 95%, recognizing HMC for completing the Modified Rankin Scale on at least 95% of stroke patients from January to December 2020.

Stroke is the number-five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in Massachusetts and the U.S. 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. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability, and speeding recovery times. Immediate assessment and treatment is critical to help improve outcomes.