Hamilton Medical Center receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Some of the members of Hamilton Medical Center’s stroke team are pictured. In the front, from left, are Tiffany Martin, CT technologist; Sara Kate Rogers, occupational therapist; Meagan Darnell, Stroke Program coordinator; Katie Smythe, Emergency Department clinical manager; and Ginger Watson, senior phlebotomist. In the back are Juan Gonzalez, MD; Bri Terry, physical therapy supervisor; Terresa Adams, LPN, Emergency Department; Eunice Garcia-Barbosa, RN, Emergency Department; and Bayo Adeeko, RN, Emergency Department.

American Heart Association Award recognizes Hamilton Medical Center’s commitment to quality stroke care

DALTON, Ga. – Hamilton Medical Center (HMC) has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

HMC 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 measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Hamilton is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Meagan Darnell, Stroke Program coordinator. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

HMC additionally received the association’s 2018 Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, 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.

“We are pleased to recognize Hamilton Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001.