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Gold Plus for Stroke Care – Again

Gold Plus for Stroke Care – Again

Tri-City Medical Center has received its second consecutive Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Program.

The national honor recognizes Tri-City’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to the organization’s evidence-based guidelines. It is the highest honor awarded by the two associations.

To receive the award, Tri-City achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all criteria indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals.

Tri-City Medical Center is one of only five hospitals in San Diego County to achieve the Gold-Plus level. Nationally, only 317 hospitals have been awarded this honor. Tri-City is one of only two in San Diego County that have been awarded this honor for two consecutive years.

Tri-City was first recognized with a Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for stroke care in 2010. These consecutive awards reflect the hospital’s consistent and continuing high standards of care and excellent patient outcomes for a multi-year period, as measured by the American Heart Association’s standards.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates Tri-City Medical Center’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Larry B. Anderson, CEO, Tri-City Medical Center. “We will continue to focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

Jack Schim, MD, the medical director for Tri-City’s stroke care program, was ecstatic about the award. “I am extraordinarily proud of our team and how they have performed,” he said. “Each healthcare professional clearly does what’s best for our patients, and that is reflected with this award.”

“Tri-City Medical Center is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, chair of the Get With The Guidelines 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.”

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 healthcare 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.

As a Joint Commission Gold Designated Primary Stroke Center, Tri-City physicians, nurses and medical staff are specially trained to identify the symptoms of stroke and are available 24/7. The Tri-City Emergency Department is equipped with the latest in stroke technology, including a CT scanner with specialized perfusion imaging that can reveal the severity of strokes. Tri-City is also combining state-of-the-art interventional radiology to employ sophisticated techniques for the treatment of strokes, including removing and dissolving clots directly.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, 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.