Friday, December 20, 2013

CoxHealth again earns Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association

CoxHealth is the only stroke program in Springfield to receive the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes a 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. This marks the fourth consecutive year CoxHealth has won the gold award. 

According to the AHA, 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. 

Get With The Guidelines helps CoxHealth’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. 

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives. 

“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. “CoxHealth’s team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.” 

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, 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. 

“At Cox Health, our mission is to be the regional leader in preventing and minimizing the debilitating effects of stroke and to position ourselves as the provider of choice for stroke care in Missouri. This recognition demonstrates our continued commitment to be the best for those we serve,” said Deb Mergen, CoxHealth Stroke Center coordinator. 

CoxHealth is also the only health system in the Ozarks to be named to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, and has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for certification as a Primary Stroke Center.