NEW ORLEANS - Ochsner Health System has been awarded the American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award for its commitment and success in providing a higher standard of stroke care according to national standards. Ochsner will receive the award at the International Stroke Conference in New Orleans on February 20, 2008.
According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke - 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent.
"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost," says Dr. Christopher White, MD, Chairman of Cardiology at Ochsner, "that's why the Get With The GuidelinesSM-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) is so important; it addresses the time element of care." White goes on to explain that Ochsner rapid diagnosis and treatment program is a comprehensive system that gets ER patients immediate results by using brain imaging scans, clot-busting medications when appropriate, and emergency catheter-based reperfusion by on-call, 24/7 interventionalists.
"The time is right for Ochsner to be continually focused on improving the quality of stroke care as 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," said Dr. White.
To receive this award, Ochsner consistently met requirements that included aggressive use of tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. This honor is awarded following a 12-month evaluation, following an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to reach these goals.
"The American Stroke Association commends Ochsner for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national GWTG Steering Committee Member and Director of Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of these recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."
Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. The system includes seven hospitals, a sub-acute facility, and 33 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana. Ochsner employs over 600 physicians in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties and 450 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner was ranked one of the "Best Places to Work" by New Orleans CityBusiness in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 12 consecutive years. Ochsner was ranked as "Best" Hospital by U.S. News and World Report in July 2007. Ochsner has over 10,000 employees system-wide.