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Vidant Medical Center honored for quality stroke care

October 29, 2013 by Chris Mackey

Vidant Medical Center honored for quality stroke care 
World Stroke Day is Oct. 29, 2013 

GREENVILLE, NC— For the 5th consecutive year, The Certified Primary Stroke Center at Vidant Medical Center has received Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. VMC received the Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award for an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85% or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 12 consecutive months. In addition, VMC demonstrated 75% compliance to (5 out of 8 stroke quality measures) during the 12-month period. 

“This is a result of everyone's dedication and commitment to the quality of care delivered to our patients by staff who are committed to achieve the best clinical outcomes for our stroke patients,” 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. 

These measures include aggressive use of a range of stroke treatments including medications that break down blood clots or prevent them from forming, cholesterol-reducing drugs, smoking cessation and therapies that prevent formation of deep-vein clots. All these interventions aim to reduce death and disability and improve the lives of stroke patients. 

“We at VMC are dedicated to being among the best in the country at treating stroke,” said Susan Freeman, nurse practitioner and administrator for neurosciences at VMC. “We will continue in our efforts to build off the success achieved with continued implementation of this valuable program.” 

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. 

She cited physician leaders such as Dr. Donald Price, neurologist and director of the VMC Stroke Center, Dr. Theodore Delbridge, department chair of emergency medicine, Dr. Mark Mazer, division chief of critical care, Dr. Brian Kuszyk, chief of radiology and Dr. Robert James, endovascular neurosurgeon. 

“Future treatment options for acute stroke care at VMC will include interventional therapies that will be coordinated through this special team,” stated Freeman. “For us, it is all about being patient advocates and providing the best possible stroke treatment, allowing patients to remain close to home with their family and friends.” Accredited in 2007, the Stroke Center at Vidant was the first certified stroke center east of Interstate 95. 

“VMC’s stroke team develops and implements acute and secondary stroke prevention guideline processes. The stroke program focuses on quality improvement measures such as care maps, discharge instructions, standing medical orders and measurement tools, Freeman said. 

The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program helps ensure that hospital patients get quality care in accordance with guidelines that will reduce the risk of secondary events. It takes advantage of the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a heart attack or stroke, when patients are most likely to listen to their health care professionals’ treatment recommendations. 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. 

According to the American Stroke Association, a stroke is the No. 2 cause of death worldwide and the No. 4 cause of death in the U.S. Yet studies show that Americans do not rank stroke as a leading health concern. On World Stroke Day, October 29, the American Stroke Association wants everyone to reach out to out to colleagues, families and friends and educate them about strokes. 
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