HCN News & Notes

Holyoke Medical Center Honored for Excellence in Stroke Care

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has received five national and state awards for excellence and quality of stroke care in Massachusetts, including the American Heart Assoc./American Stroke Assoc. Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus & Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The other four awards were presented by the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. They cover the period from January to December 2018 and include the Coverdell National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) Rate of at Least 95% Award, recognizing HMC for performing NIHSS assessments on at least 95% of stroke patients; the Defect-free Care Award, which recognizes HMC for providing defect-free care for 90% or more of its stroke patients by utilizing all of the interventions for which each patient was eligible; the Modified Rankin Scale Greater Than or Equal to 85% Award, which recognizes HMC as a hospital which completed the Modified Rankin Scale on at least 85% of stroke patients; and the Dysphagia Screening Greater Than or Equal to 95% Award, recognizing HMC for completing dysphagia screening on at least 95% of stroke patients.

“At Holyoke Medical Center we have an amazing team focused on providing the very best care to all of our patients, and with stroke patients that means providing the best care with speed and efficiency to protect from brain loss,” said Angela Smith, HMC’s Stroke Service manager. “We are honored to be recognized again for our hard work and dedication to our patients.”

The Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus & Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Quality Achievement 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. HMC 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 also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care-transition interventions. HMC also met the 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.

“Holyoke Medical Center is committed to following evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes, such as those implemented by the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines stroke initiative,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems. “We commend our team for continuing to efficiently utilize the tools and resources provided to help us track and measure our success for the benefit of every patient.”