FOREST HILLS, NY – Forest Hills Hospital, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Forest Hills Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.
In addition to the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke award, Forest Hills Hospital has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past three months, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received 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 US 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.
“We are dedicated to making our care for stroke patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke program helps us to accomplish this goal,” said Suman Reejsinghani, MD, Forest Hills’ director of stroke. “This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track striving to provide excellent care to our stroke patients and community at large. I am very proud of our team of physicians and staff members who are involved in stroke care and have worked effortlessly to achieve this goal.”
Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke helps the staff at Forest Hills Hospital develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.
The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives.
“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” 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, MA. “Forest Hills Hospital’s stroke team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”
Following Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.
For more information about the stroke program at Forest Hills Hospital, call 718-830-4000. For more information about Get With The Guidelines®, visit heart.org/quality.