HMC HONORED FOR EXCELLENCE IN STROKE CARE
HOLYOKE, MA — July 6, 2016 —Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has received three prestigious national and state awards for excellence in and quality of stroke care in Massachusetts, including the American Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus award for the eighth consecutive year.
Recognition for HMC’s stroke program included:
- Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus & Target Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award, which recognizes HMC for to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines established on the latest scientific evidence. To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, 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. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. 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.
- Defect-free Care Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), which recognizes HMC for providing defect-free care for 90 percent or more of its stroke patients, utilizing all of the interventions for which each patient was eligible. Defect-free care is achieved when a patient receives the appropriate care based on clinical guidelines. HMC was ranked number one in Massachusetts, out of 17 Medium Volume Hospitals, providing 99 percent Defect-Free Care.
- Coverdell NIH Stroke Scale Rate of 100 Percent Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts DPH, which recognizes HMC as a hospital which performed neurological assessments on 100 percent of its stroke patients from January 2015 to December 2015. The NIHSS is an evidence-based tool used to provide a quantitative measure of stroke-related neurologic deficit.
“With every stroke, time matters. By receiving these prestigious awards consecutively year after year, Holyoke Medical Center continues to prove the importance of our local hospital to the community we serve,” said Spiros Hatiras, President and Chief Executive Officer, Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, Inc. “I once again commend our outstanding staff for staying focused and passionate about providing superior patient outcomes every time.”
This sentiment was echoed by Angela Smith, R.N., HMC’s Stroke Clinical Manager, “the stroke team’s focus has been providing consistent individualized stroke care. Our priority is the patient and these awards validate the efficient care we provide to each and every patient.”
Stroke is now the fourth-leading cause of death in Massachusetts, and remains a leading cause of adult disability. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
Every second counts when it comes to knowing if someone is having a stroke. HMC recommends the F.A.S.T. acronym as an easy way to understand the signs and symptoms of a stroke:
- Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
- Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
- Speech: Does the person’s speech sound strange and disjointed? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
- Time: If you observe any of these symptoms, you should call 9-1-1
About Holyoke Medical Center:
Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) is a 198-bed facility with over 1,200 employees serving individuals and families throughout the Pioneer Valley. The medical staff includes more than 300 physicians and consulting staff. Among some of the top-rated services at HMC is the award-winning HMC Stroke Service which has been consistently rated as one of the best in the state. Areas of clinical emphasis also include behavioral health, critical care, emergency care, orthopedics, oncology, rehabilitation, women’s health services, and speech and hearing services. HMC is a member of Valley Health Systems, which also includes the affiliates Holyoke Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice Life Care, Western Mass Physician Associates and River Valley Counseling Center.
About Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program
For more information about the Massachusetts Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program, or about FAST and the DPH stroke awareness campaign, please visit: www.mass.gov/dph/heartstroke.
About Get with the Guidelines:
Get with the Guidelines is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program provides hospitals with 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 four million patients since 2001. For more information, please visit www.heart.org/qualityor www.heart.org/myhealthcare.