American Heart/Stroke Association lauds stroke program

Published: April 5th, 2010

Category: MBI Announcements

The American Heart/Stroke Association recently awarded Shands at the University of Florida its Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award at the Association’s International Stroke Conference 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. The award recognizes Shands at the University of Florida’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to evidence-based guidelines.

The “Silver” distinction is awarded to hospitals who achieve high compliance with these guidelines for a period of 12 consecutive months. Shands at UF had previously been awarded the Bronze distinction recognizing similar achievement for a three-month period.

“In treating stroke, time to treatment is a key factor in predicting patient outcomes,” said Justine Abram, B.S.N., R.N., C.N.R.N, the stroke program coordinator. “Receiving the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award validates our efforts in taking action to treat its stroke patients quickly and effectively.”

“Articles published in leading scientific journals have increasingly demonstrated the effectiveness of Get With The Guidelines-Stroke,” said Michael Waters, M.D., Ph.D., the medical director of the stroke program. “The time is right for Shands UF to continue its focus on providing high quality, science-based stroke care. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and our aging population.”

Through GWTG-Stroke, Shands at UF is tracking comprehensive efforts to rapidly diagnose and treat stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes being equipped to provide brain-imaging scans, having neurologists and neurosurgeons available 24/7 to conduct patient evaluations, and using clot-busting medications when appropriate as well as the availability of other innovative tools to help stroke patients.

Stroke program coordinator Justine Abram presented original research to an international audience at the nursing symposium during the International Stroke Conference in San Antonio. Her research concluded improved stroke patient care through the implementation of early response notification of impending stroke patients to SUF.

Stroke program coordinator Justine Abram presented original research to an international audience at the nursing symposium during the International Stroke Conference in San Antonio. Her research concluded improved stroke patient care through the implementation of early response notification of impending stroke patients to SUF.

To receive the GWTG-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, Shands at UF consistently complied for at least one year with the program requirement, including aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs, and smoking cessation.

The 12-month evaluation period reflects an ongoing effort of the hospital to continually maintain greater than 85 percent compliance in core quality assurance measures.

“The American Stroke Association recognizes Shands UF for successfully implementing proven standards of care for stroke treatment,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., vice chair of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and vice chairman of the neurology department at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “By meeting Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award criteria, Shands UF demonstrates its active effort to improve the outcomes of the stroke patients it serves and save more lives.”

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people each year experience a new or recurrent stroke.

Members of SUF’s stroke team accept the American Heart/Stroke Association’s prestigious Silver Performance award from Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chair and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, on behalf of Shands at UF during an awards banquet at the International Stroke Conference. SUF was one of 71 hospitals nationally to receive this distinction. Posing (from left) are Tiffany Sheehan R.N., clinical research coordinator, Dr. J. Mocco, assistant professor of neurosurgery, Dr. Michael Waters, assistant professor of neurology and stroke program director, Justine Abram R.N., stroke program coordinator, Dr. Schwamm, and Bree Burks R.N., clinical research coordinator.

Members of SUF’s stroke team accept the American Heart/Stroke Association’s prestigious Silver Performance award from Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chair and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, on behalf of Shands at UF during an awards banquet at the International Stroke Conference. SUF was one of 71 hospitals nationally to receive this distinction. Posing (from left) are Tiffany Sheehan R.N., clinical research coordinator, Dr. J. Mocco, assistant professor of neurosurgery, Dr. Michael Waters, assistant professor of neurology and stroke program director, Justine Abram R.N., stroke program coordinator, Dr. Schwamm, and Bree Burks R.N., clinical research coordinator.

About Shands UF Stroke Program

Our technologically advanced facility includes state of the art diagnostic testing, medical/endovascular interventions, and patient care facilities unique to the North Central Florida area. Our most important asset is our dedicated staff of professionals committed to providing the best possible care and outcomes for the patients in the communities we serve. You can read more about SUF Stroke Program here and here.

About GWTG

Get With The GuidelinesSM is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.