UK Receives American Stroke Association Award
Media Contact: Amy Ratliff, 859-257-1754, x252
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2009) − The Kentucky Neuroscience Institute has received the American Stroke Association’s Get With the GuidelinesSM–Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Bronze Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes the UK HealthCare stroke program's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.
“Because stroke is a medical emergency, time is brain. Acute stroke must be diagnosed quickly, so that treatment can be started in a timely manner,” said Dr. L. Creed Pettigrew, director of the UK Stroke Program. "UK received the GWTG – Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award for developing an organized system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This comprehensive system of stroke patient care includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate."
To receive the GWTG–Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award, UK consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the GWTG–Stroke program for 90 days. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. The 90-day evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.
“The American Stroke Association commends the University of Kentucky for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, national Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee Member and director of the 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.”
GWTG–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 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 stroke. Through GWTG–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 GWTG Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.
According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke – 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent attacks. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.