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UPMC Media Relations

UPMC Stroke Institute Receives National Recognition for Top Patient Care

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 6, 2011 – The UPMC Stroke Institute has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. The award recognizes UPMC’s commitment to providing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, the UPMC Stroke Institute achieved  85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke 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. 

Physicians at the UPMC Stroke Institute offer comprehensive stroke care to more than 1,500 patients annually and lead efforts to partner with area community hospitals to initiate acute stroke treatment. The availability of this service has resulted in more than 200 interventional treatments in the past year.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award demonstrates UPMC’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Tudor Jovin, M.D., director of the UPMC Stroke Institute.

In addition to the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke award, UPMC also has received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of eligible ischemic stroke patients have received intravenous rt-PA, a clot-busting agent, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as “door-to-needle” time).

The UPMC Stroke Institute is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

Get With The GuidelinesStroke 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 health care professionals’ guidance. 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.

“The time is right for UPMC to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–Stroke,” said Lawrence Wechsler, M.D., chairman, University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurology. “Stroke incidence is decreasing, but the aging population will result in an increase in the number of strokes.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

An awards ceremony will be held at the University of Pittsburgh Scaife Hall Conference Center on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. Media that wish to attend should contact Megan Grote Quatrini at 412-586-9769 or GroteME@upmc.edu.

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