News Release
  March 6, 2014

CONTACT:

Kim Menard

215-662-6183
kim.menard@uphs.upenn.edu

Perelman School of Medicine


This announcement is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/03/stroke/

Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Chester County Hospital Receive Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Awards

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Chester County Hospital have received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes these Penn Medicine hospitals’ commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“This award is a testament to all the hard work that our staff at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center has done toward caring for our patients with cerebrovascular disease,” said Claude Nguyen, MD, assistant professor of Neurology and director of Stroke Services at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. “Along with our telemedicine program and upcoming involvement with clinical trials, Penn Presbyterian continues our commitment to provide the best care possible for our community.”

To receive the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, these three Penn Medicine hospitals achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators and achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures during that same period of time, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) received the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award in October 2013, for achieving 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures.

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

“Management of stroke at Pennsylvania Hospital has improved tremendously since we were designated a primary stroke center in 2012,” said Howard Hurtig, MD, Elliott Professor of Neurology and chair of the Neurology department at Pennsylvania Hospital. “Every member of the team of nurses, residents, physicians and other staff of the hospital plays a vital role in making the program so well-coordinated and successful.”

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates that our staff is committed to providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,” says Sandra Garrison, MBA, BSN, RN, Director Cardiovascular Disease Management at Chester County Hospital.

Last year, the four Penn Medicine hospitals saw a combined total of 1372 stroke patients.

In addition to the Get With The Guideline-Stroke awards, both the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Chester County Hospital have been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospitals’ eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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. 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.

“Penn Medicine is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients across all hospitals,” 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.”

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.