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Published on April 30, 2010

Abington Memorial Hospital's Stroke Center Receives Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award

Award demonstrates Abington Memorial Hospital's commitment to quality care for stroke patients

APRIL 30, 2010 — Abington Memorial Hospital has received the 2009 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Abington Memorial Hospital's commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, Abington Memorial Hospital achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieved well above 75 percent compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are required to establish quality of care. Abington Memorial Hospital has participated in ASA GWTG program since 2005 and has received the Performance Achievement Award every year.

These measures include appropriate use of medications, such as rt-PA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award demonstrates Abington Memorial Hospital s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care," said B. Franklin Diamond, MD, Stroke Center director. "We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients."

"Abington Memorial Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals' guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second stroke or heart attack.

Through Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the time of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool gives healthcare providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

"We are very proud to have received this award annually since 2005," says Debi Murphy, CRNP, stroke center coordinator. "The time is right for Abington Memorial Hospital to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines-Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population."

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
For more information on Get With The Guidelines, visit

This data reflects first quarter of 2009 – to fourth quarter 2009.

Performance Achievement Award Measures > 85%

Percent of acute ischemic stroke patients who arrive at the ED at my hospital within 120 minutes (two hours) of onset of stroke symptoms who receive IV t-PA within 180 minutes (three hours) of onset of stroke (100%)

Percent of ischemic stroke or TIA patients who receive antithrombotic medication within 48 hours of hospitalization (99.6%)

Percent of ischemic stroke or TIA patients discharged on antithrombotics (e.g., warfarin, aspirin, other antiplatelet drug) (99.4%)

Percent of ischemic stroke or TIA patients with atrial fibrillation who are discharged on anticoagulation therapy (warfarin/Coumadin or heparin/heparinoids) unless an absolute or relativecontraindication exist (97.6%)

Percent of patients at risk for DVT who received DVT prophylaxis by the second hospital day (99.3%)

Percent of ischemic stroke or TIA patients with LDL>100 mg/dL And discharge on a statin if not contraindicated. (90.2%)

Percent of smokers who receive smoking cessation advice or medication (e.g., Nicoderm or Zyban) at discharge (96.8%)

This data reflects first quarter of 2009 – to fourth quarter 2009. 

6 ASA GWTG Gold Plus Measures > 75%


Dysphagia Screening


Documentation of 5 Components of Stroke Education


Rehabilitation Considered


IV rt-PA 3 Hour


LDL Documented


LDL 100 or ND-Statin


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