Saturday, July 18, 2015

Holyoke Medical Center Honored for Excellence in Stroke Care

Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has received three prestigious national and state awards for excellence in and quality of stroke care in Massachusetts, including the American Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus award for the seventh consecutive year.

Recognition for HMC's stroke program included:

·         Get with the Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus, Target, Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Quality Achievement Award, which recognizes HMC for meeting quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. Quality measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.  The 'Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus' designation reflects HMC's efficiency and the ability to administer the drug IV TPA consistently to our patients within 45 minutes of their arrival.

·         Defect-free Care Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), which recognizes HMC for providing defect-free care for 85 percent or more of its stroke patients, utilizing all of the interventions for which each patient was eligible. Defect-free care is achieved when a patient receives the appropriate care based on clinical guidelines. HMC was ranked number one in Massachusetts, out of 22 Medium Volume Hospitals, providing 99 percent Defect-Free Care.

·         Coverdell NIH Stroke Scale Rate of 100 Percent Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts DPH, which recognizes HMC as a hospital which performed neurological assessments on 100 percent of its stroke patients from January 2014 to December 2014. The NIHSS is an evidence-based tool used to provide a quantitative measure of stroke-related neurologic deficit.

"In responding to a stroke, time matters; that's why we have invested in a program that allows residents to receive exceptional stroke care close to home," said Spiros Hatiras, President and Chief Executive Officer, Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, Inc. "Our team, led by Angela Smith, R.N., has established a comprehensive program and continually focuses on improving patient outcomes.  They are to be commended for their tremendous efforts."

"Our stroke team members at HMC are highly trained and focus on providing rapid efficient care to each and every stroke patient. The awards prove that this patient-centered care is our priority everyday," said Angela Smith, R.N., HMC's Stroke Clinical Manager.

Stroke is now the 5th leading cause of death (only a few years ago it was 3rd) but still remains the 1st leading cause of adult disability. Every second counts when it comes to knowing if someone is having a stroke.
HMC recommends the F.A.S.T. acronym as an easy way to understand the signs and symptoms of a stroke:
·         Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
·         Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
·         Speech: Does the person's speech sound strange and disjointed? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
·         Time: If you observe any of these symptoms, you should call 9-1-1

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