CAMC's Stroke Center Strikes Gold Again

CAMC has received its third consecutive Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Quality Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association for providing excellent stroke care.

CAMC earned the 2016 Gold Plus award, which is the highest level of recognition for treatment of patients with stroke – a life-threatening condition that occurs when a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by fatty substances or a blood clot, interrupting blood flow to the brain.

“With stroke, getting patients the right treatment at the right time is absolutely critical,” said Ina Shaffron, RN, CAMC’s stroke program coordinator. “The quick and efficient use of these guidelines improves the quality of care for patients, reduces disability and saves lives.”

Hospitals receiving the Get With The Guidelines – Gold Plus Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 12 consecutive months. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance to seven out of 10 stroke quality measures during the 12-month period.

“CAMC is dedicated to making care for stroke patients among the best in the country, and this program helps us accomplish that goal,” said Dave Ramsey, CAMC President and CEO.

Following Get With The Guidelines for stroke, patients at CAMC are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as t-PA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

According to the American Heart Association, stroke patients treated at hospitals participating in a guidelines-based program are more likely to be discharged home and less likely to die within 30 days and one year.

CAMC’s comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department includes being equipped 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

“Being honored for giving excellent patient care is the best recognition a hospital can get,” Shaffron said.  “Our greatest reward is serving our patients. That’s why we’re committed to turning treatment guidelines into lifelines.”