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Scripps Mercy Hospital Recognized for Stroke Care Excellence by American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

Both hospital campuses earn quality achievement award and honor roll listing

Scripps Mercy Hospital was granted the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s “Get With The Guidelines®” Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Scripps Mercy Hospital has earned a performance achievement award for meeting strict, evidence-based guidelines related to stroke care during 2013. The hospital was granted the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

“To be recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is an honor and confirms that people who seek stroke treatment at Scripps are receiving the best care possible,” said Gilda Tafreshi, M.D., medical director for the Scripps Mercy Hospital stroke program. “We offer our patients the full spectrum of stroke care, including aggressive acute inpatient and outpatient stroke rehabilitation to ensure patients regain their quality of life and independence after stroke.”

The award recognizes 12 consecutive months of exceeding the national benchmark in seven categories of stroke care. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association will recognize Scripps Mercy Hospital at a ceremony during the International Stroke Conference Feb. 12 to 14.

Scripps Mercy Hospital also has been named to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Target: Stroke” honor roll for its commitment to and success in improving care for stroke patients.

The Target: Stroke designation confirms that during the most recent three-month review period, at least 50 percent of all eligible ischemic stroke patients at Scripps Mercy received the important clot-busting drug known as intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital. The drug is the only approved acute-stroke treatment for clot-related, or ischemic, stroke and has been shown to reduce stroke-related disability.

Additionally, all of the Scripps hospitals with emergency rooms are designated as Primary Stroke Centers by The Joint Commission. The designation confirms that the hospitals always have available a team of physicians who provides the most up-to-date and efficient stroke care, along with the tools and expertise to treat acute stroke quickly and competently to minimize or even reverse damage to the patient’s health.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program helps hospitals improve their quality of care by ensuring that patients are treated according to the latest scientific guidelines for stroke care.

Get With The Guidelines recognizes three levels of hospital performance with bronze, silver, and gold awards. The Silver Plus distinction means that Scripps Mercy Hospital achieved not only 85 percent or higher compliance in performance criteria for at least 24 consecutive months, but also 75 percent or better compliance in a variety of measures that indicate quality of care. These quality measures include aggressive use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation.

“To have our inpatient stroke units and emergency departments at both Scripps Mercy Hospital campuses recognized for outstanding care is a testament to our commitment to offering our patients the best options for stroke recovery,” said Lindsay Olson-Mack, R.N., Family Nurse Practitioner and stroke program coordinator at Scripps Mercy Hospital.

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.

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers health care teams to save lives and reduce health care costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

Media Contact

Kristin Reinhardt