Standard of Care Recognized As Number of Stroke Patients Anticipated to Increase
The American Stroke Association awarded Ochsner with the "Get With The Guidelines" SM- Stroke Performance Achievement Award for its commitment, success, and higher standard of stroke care. Ochsner received the Gold award at the International Stroke Conference in San Diego and is one of only two hospitals in Louisiana to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission.
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. Experts agree that patients who have experienced an acute stroke recover more successfully if they are treated at centers that can rapidly triage, treat, and provide consistent quality care based on national guidelines. "With a stroke, time lost is brain lost," says Dr. Kenneth Gaines, Chairman of Neurology at Ochsner, "that's why the Get With The Guidelines SM- Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) is so important; it addresses the time element of care." Gaines goes on to explain that Ochsner's rapid diagnosis and treatment program is a comprehensive system that treats ER patients immediately utilizing brain imaging scans, clot-busting medications, and emergency catheter-based reperfusion by on-call, 24/7 physician/interventionalists.
The Gold Award is presented for sustained performance achievement-at least 24 consecutive months-treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to standards of care outlined by the American Stroke Association. Ochsner consistently met requirements that included aggressive use of tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. "Over the next decade, we anticipate the number of acute ischemic stroke patients to grow mainly due to a large aging population. Ochsner remains steadfast in our commitment to continually improving the quality of stroke care," said Dr. Gaines. "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."