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Vidant Medical Center honored for quality stroke care

November 20, 2014 posted by Amy Holcombe

GREENVILLE, NC—For the sixth consecutive year, Vidant Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients. 

Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Vidant Medical Center 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 aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. 

Vidant Medical Center also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.

“Vidant Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and we are proud to achieve this level of recognition,” said Dr. Donald Price, Medical Director for the Stroke Center. Everyone who touches the life of a stroke patient and their families has contributed to this recognition. 

“Being a primary stroke center means that we have the trained staff and dedicated resources to care for anyone suffering from a stroke,” said Susan Freeman, nurse practitioner and Director for neurosciences at Vidant Medical Center. “This award demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.” 

Freeman credited a team that draws from a wide range of health care disciplines to treat stroke patients: emergency medical services, physician specialists, nursing, laboratory, CT radiology and multiple allied health disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and many others. 

“Our mission is to provide distinguished stroke care to the people of eastern North Carolina through exceptional treatment, education, prevention and research,” said Freeman. Accredited in 2007, the Stroke Center at Vidant was the first certified stroke center east of Interstate 95.

“We are pleased to recognize Vidant Medical Center for their commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”

Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke also helps Vidant Medical Center’s staff implement 

prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish. 

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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.

For more information about Vidant Medical Center’s stroke care go to:
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