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VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

American Heart Association Award recognizes VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital commitment to quality stroke care

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The 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.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital 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 should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Vickey Morgan, RN, BSN, SCRN, Stroke Program Coordinator at VCU Health Community Memorial. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet 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.

“We are pleased to recognize VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. 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.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital achieved the recognition of Advanced Primary Stroke Center Disease Specific Certification from the Joint Commission in 2016 and again in 2018. Toward continuing to receive this recognition every two years, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital follows the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines to achieve the Target Stroke awards: In 2016 the Target Stroke Silver Plus Quality Award; in 2017, the Gold Plus Target Stroke Elite Quality Achievement Award; and now the highest achievable award the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

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