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HOLYOKE MEDICAL CENTER EARNS FOUR AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN STROKE CARE

Sep 09, 2021

Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has received four prestigious national and state awards for excellence and quality of stroke care in Massachusetts.  The awards include the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award, as well as three awards from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The awards were given for HMC’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized research-based guidelines.

“Holyoke Medical Center consistently achieves stroke awards and recognition because of the dedication and commitment our team has to our patients. We are especially grateful to those working in the Emergency Department, ICU, and Imaging Services, all of whose help was critical to maintaining these designations,” said M. Zubair Kareem, MD, Medical Director of the HMC Stroke Service.

Members of the Stroke Service team at Holyoke Medical Center with the 2021 American Heart Association’s Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Achievement Award, from left to right: Assistant Stroke Medical Director Mohammad Hazratji, MD, Stroke Program Clinical Manager Angela Smith, RN, and Stroke Medical Director M. Zubair Kareem, MD.

Awards presented to HMC include:

The American Heart Association

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Award for commitment to prioritizing quality care for stroke patients by providing the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, the hospital provides education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

To qualify for the Association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus award, HMC met 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

Additionally, HMC received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award, meeting quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

HMC also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Achieving Door to CT <= 25 minutes from arrival for at least 75% of stroke patients Award. This award recognizes how the door to CT measure demonstrates the percent of stroke patients receiving a CT scan in less than 25 minutes from the time of arrival at the emergency department from January 2020 – December 2020. For the award, the measure includes all patients who were eligible for alteplase treatment and arrived to the hospital via EMS. This is a new award this year. Hospitals were encouraged to include EMS agencies in quality improvement activities aimed at improving this measure.

Dysphagia Screening greater than or equal to 95% Award, recognizing HMC for completing dysphagia screening on at least 95% of stroke patients from January 2020 – December 2020.

Modified Rankin Scale greater than or equal to 95% Award, recognizing HMC for completing the Modified Rankin Scale on at least 95% of stroke patients from January 2020 – December 2020.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in Massachusetts and the U.S. 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. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times. Immediate assessment and treatment is critical to help improve outcomes.

Knowing the key signs and symptoms of stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately can save a life. The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember: 

  • 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 speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
  • Time: If you observe these symptoms, call 9-1-1

“We are pleased to recognize Holyoke Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “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.”

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