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MCCG receives Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

MCCG receives Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Award Demonstrates MCCG's Commitment to Quality Care for Stroke Patients  

MACON, GA (Tuesday, December 3, 2013)   For the third consecutive year,The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes MCCG's commitment and success in implementing an exemplary standard of care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

The American Heart Association will present MCCG with the award on Tuesday, December 3 at 10:00 a.m. in MCCG's Trice Lobby. This is not a public event, but media are invited to attend.

In order to receive the award, MCCG achieved an 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality 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, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. MCCG is pleased to report that the hospital achieved 90 percent or higher compliance with all 10 guidelines.

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.     

“The Medical Center of Central Georgia is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients. 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,” 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. 

In addition to the Get With The Guideline-Stroke award, MCCG has also been recognized as a recipient of the association's Target: Stroke Honor Roll for improving stroke care. Over the past year, MCCG has been able to significantly increase the number of  eligible ischemic stroke patients who receive tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle' time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates The Medical Center of Central Georgia's commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing compassionate, proven stroke care. We will continue to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,” said Dr. Fady Wanna, Chief Medical Officer at MCCG.  

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke 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 healthcare 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 stroke or heart attack.

Through Get With The Guidelines–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool gives healthcare providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population. The Medical Center of Central Georgia will remain focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing evidence-based guidelines such as Get With The Guidelines–Stroke,” said Dr. Wanna

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.