Published on August 20, 2020

Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center receives award for stroke care

Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes St. Mary’s Medical Center’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines rooted in the latest scientific evidence.

St. Mary’s Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality-achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. 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.

“SMMC is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care in the region by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Diane Roach, APRN, CNS-Stroke Program Manager. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Additionally, SMMC received the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Advanced Therapy award. To qualify for these recognitions, 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. In addition, SMMC achieved high-quality scores for quick treatment with the thrombectomy program.

SMMC also was included on the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, following best-practice recommendations for this population.

SMMC has met specific scientific guidelines set by the Joint Commission as a Certified Thrombectomy Capable Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients, and is the only Joint Commission-certified Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center in the Northland.

“We are pleased to recognize St. Mary’s Medical Center for its commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of neurology, director of acute stroke services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. “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.

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