PH DuBois Receives Stroke Care Award

September 30, 2014

DuBOIS - Penn Highlands DuBois has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

"You are a part of an elite group of hospitals recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association," Steve Dentel, representative for the AHA/ASA, said. "The award recognizes PH DuBois’ 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."

Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. PH DuBois earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

"Penn Highlands DuBois is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps us achieve that goal," said Dr. Gary DuGan, chief medical officer at Penn Highlands Healthcare, said. "With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines."

"We are pleased to recognize Penn Highlands DuBois for its commitment and dedication to stroke care," said Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care."

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps PH DuBois’ staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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.

PH DuBois is prepared, according to Jolene Barbazzeni, stroke coordinator at PH DuBois, "We were awarded the gold seal of approval from the Joint Commission in January," she said. "This honor is for a program in place that includes many departments working together for the patient, including the Emergency Department, the Imaging Department, the Lab, Third Floor, the Intensive Care Unit, the Therapies and the Rehabilitation Center along with the Neurology practice, the Performance Improvement Department, the Dietary Department and Social Services and many others."