Quality of Cardiac, Stroke Programs Recognized by AHA

June 06, 2007

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has awarded two Get With the Guidelines Annual Performance Achievement Awards to Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center for meeting its high standards for coronary artery disease and stroke care.

Strong Memorial is the only hospital in the Rochester area to be recognized with these honors, which celebrate a 12-month compliance of AHA/ASA standards, and the only Rochester hospital to receive any level of American Heart Association recognition for its coronary artery disease care. Highland Hospital, an affiliate of the Medical Center, is recognized with an Initial Performance Achievement Award, a 90-day compliance of its stroke initiatives. A complete list of award-winners will be published in an advertising announcement in U.S. News & World Report in July.

“This is a welcome recognition of our efforts to continuously improve care for cardiac patients as we work to reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and death,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., chair of Medicine, chief of Cardiology, and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Medical Center.

Strong Stroke Center Director Curtis Benesch, M.D., said, “We have a long and successful history of implementing a higher standard of stroke care at Strong and strive to further improve our comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. We know that with a stroke, time lost is brain lost.”

Awards are given to hospitals that have consistently complied for 12 consecutive months with the requirements of the Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) programs regarding coronary artery disease (CAD) and stroke care and have demonstrated that at least 85 percent of its eligible patients (without contraindications) are discharged following the treatments recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines.

Developed to assist healthcare professionals follow proven standards and procedures before patients are discharged, GWTG–CAD helps reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and death in treated patients. Following the American Heart Association guidelines, CAD patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation and weight management counseling and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged.

Following the American Stroke Association guidelines, stroke patients are treated with aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. GWTG-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had an acute event, when they are most receptive to behavioral and medical interventions that can help lower the risk of subsequent strokes. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

For Media Inquiries:
Karin Christensen
(585) 275-1311
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