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Upstate earns top achievement awards for stroke and heart failure care

Upstate earns top achievement awards for stroke and heart failure care

When it comes to stroke care, Upstate is honored with the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Upstate received the same honor last year.

Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

For heart failure care, Upstate received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, which recognizes the hospital’s implementation on specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology. The honor recognizes the work of Upstate’s Downtown and Community campuses.

“This recognition of our stroke care and heart failure care is further evidence of the outstanding quality of care patients receive at Upstate,” said Steven M. Scott, MPH, FACHE, interim chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital. “The designation from the American Heart Association also recognizes the dedication and commitment of our physicians, nurses, technicians and others who ensure patient care exceeds the national standards.”

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. Upstate University Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Upstate’s stroke care is often honored, having received the Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus in 2016 as well.  Upstate became the only specially designated Comprehensive Stroke Center in the region, in 2015, when it met a rigorous review of its stroke treatment protocols by DNV (De Norske Veritus) Healthcare, a hospital accreditation organization.

Eight hospitals throughout central and upstate New York, including Claxton Hepburn Medical Center and Cortland Regional Medical Center, are partners in Upstate’s telestroke program, which allows Upstate neurologists to assist in the treatment of stroke patients in these outlying hospitals via technology.

In addition to receiving the With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, Upstate received the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides hospitals with educational tools, prevention programs and treatment guidelines designed to reduce the risk of heart failure patients ending up back in the hospital. Hospitals are required to meet criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.  This is the sixth consecutive year Upstate has received this honor for its heart failure care.

“We are pleased to recognize Upstate for its commitment to heart failure care,” said Paul Heidenreich, MD, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. Get With the Guidelines research has demonstrated the impact of lowering 30-day readmissions and reducing mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.