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Upstate Stroke Center earns second consecutive Gold Plus Award for stroke care

Upstate Stroke Center earns second consecutive Gold Plus Award for stroke care

SYRACUSE, N.Y.--Upstate University Hospital’s stroke program continues to excel, receiving its second consecutive Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The 2012 award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

Upstate received its first American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines--Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award last year and Upstate was the first in the region to receive the Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award.

In 2006, Upstate was the first hospital in Central New York to be designated as a primary stroke center by the NYS Department of Health. In 2010, Upstate became the first hospital in the state to achieve certification as a DNV Primary Stroke Center Hospital. DNV is a national hospital-accrediting agency.

To receive the American Heart Association award, Upstate University Hospital achieved an 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines--Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures that measure quality of care. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, stroke education, and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

Upstate University Hospital is the only hospital in the 17-county region that has a dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit, the capability to treat stroke patients beyond the three-hour window with clot retrieval, and the ability to give concentrated clot buster medication directly to the area of the brain that is affected. It is also the region’s only telestroke center, treating and serving as a resource for the care of stroke patients in outlying hospitals through telemedicine.

“This continued recognition from the American Heart and Stroke Association further amplifies that Upstate delivers comprehensive stroke care and does so consistently at the highest levels,” said John McCabe, MD, Upstate University Hospital’s chief executive officer. “As the most comprehensive stroke center in Central New York, we continue to provide care that medical research shows provides the quickest most effective treatment for stroke patients.”

Paul Seale, the hospital’s chief operating officer, acknowledged the efforts of Upstate’s stroke team for its work in achieving this Gold Plus status. “This level of care requires an amazing collaboration between physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, radiology staff, and therapists,” he said. “We have a great team dedicated to providing the best stroke care possible.”

Get With The Guidelines--Stroke uses the teachable moment, the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ advice. 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.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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.