Stroke Care Earns Prestigious Gold Plus Award

Christian Hospital has again received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get with the Guidelines” Gold Plus Achievement Award.

The award recognizes Christian Hospital’s commitment to a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations. Christian Hospital was recognized at the silver level in 2011 and at the bronze level in 2010. Christian Hospital also achieved a two-year Joint Commission re-certification as a Primary Stroke Center in August 2012.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost,” says Sebastian Rueckert, MD, Christian Hospital chief medical officer. “This award addresses the important element of time.” Christian Hospital developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes:

  • Always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans
  • Having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations
  • Using clot-busting medications when appropriate

To receive this recognition, Christian Hospital achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all “Get with the Guidelines” indicators for consecutive 12-month intervals, and 75 percent or higher compliance with four of nine measures to improve the quality of patient care and outcomes. Some of the nine measures are:

  • Aggressive use of medications like tPA
  • Antithrombotics
  • Anticoagulation therapy
  • DVT prophylaxis
  • Cholesterol-reducing drugs
  • Smoking cessation

The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

The “Get with the Guidelines” program stresses the “teachable moment” of patient care, referring to the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when the patients are receptive to the health information and are most likely to follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Through “Get with the Guidelines,” customized patient education materials based on each patient’s individual risk profiles are made available when the patient is discharged. These education materials literally urge patients to get with the guidelines if they want to get -- and stay -- healthy.