Patient Care

UR Medicine Gets Top Honors for Cardiac, Stroke Programs

May. 23, 2016

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has once again honored UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital with its highest awards for heart failure, stroke and resuscitation care. Strong Memorial is the only Rochester-area hospital to earn the highest levels of recognition for these categories of care.

Strong Memorial earned Get With the Guidelines Heart Failure Gold Plus and Target Heart Failure Honor Roll Award, Stroke Gold Plus and Target Elite Plus Honor Roll Award and Resuscitation Gold Award in the AHA/ASA’s hospital-based quality improvement program.

Each year in the U.S., approximately 735,000 people suffer heart attacks, 5.7 million people endure heart failure and nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The GWTG program is designed to measure outcomes and adherence to treatment guidelines to ensure high quality care at hospitals across the nation.

Charles J. Lowenstein, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiology, said the AHA/ASA awards illustrate that UR Medicine is at the forefront of patient care. “As the only regional hospital to receive the top Get With the Guidelines recognition for heart failure and resuscitation care, we take pride in what we’ve accomplished as we strive to further advance care for our patients.”

To earn the heart failure and resuscitation honors, the hospital demonstrated quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure and life-saving care for people who experience in-hospital cardiac arrests through consistently following the most up-to-date research-based guidelines for treatment.

“We strive to provide the most comprehensive, leading-edge care for our patients,” said neurologist Curtis G. Benesch, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the UR Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center. “This award acknowledges the commitment of many individuals to the goals of advancing acute stroke care and improving stroke prevention.”

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

GWTG is a hospital-based quality improvement program designed to ensure that hospitals consistently care for cardiac and stroke patients following the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. Upon meeting each module’s criteria, hospitals are recognized if at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients are treated and discharged according to the AHA/ASA’s recommendations.