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IU Health Bloomington Hospital Honored With Award For Stroke Care
Updated March 31, 2014 6:57 AM | Filed under: Health
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(BLOOMINGTON) - IU Health Bloomington Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. IU Health Bloomington Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

"We are dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care for our patients and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps us achieve that goal," says Susan Savastuk, RN, stroke program coordinator at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. "With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines."

Not only has IU Health Bloomington Hospital worked to improve stroke care in Monroe County, but it continually works with IU Health hospitals in south central Indiana to provide telemedicine care for stroke patients in those facilities. Through this advanced technology, neurologists and stroke specialists can see and talk to patients at other hospitals to determine the next steps in care.

"Having the telemedicine technology available allows us to provide highly specialized care in an efficient and effective way to smaller hospitals in our region where patients may not have access to a neurologist," explains Susan. "Telemedicine works similarly to Skype and FaceTime and allows the physician here in Bloomington to speak directly with the patient, loved ones and hospital caregivers in order to assess the patient's condition. This face to face interaction is so valuable in determining the most appropriate care for the person experiencing a stroke."

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke also helps IU Health Bloomington Hospital's staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.

"We are pleased to recognize IU Health Bloomington Hospital for its commitment and dedication to stroke care," said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients' length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care."

In addition to earning the Get with the Guidelines recognition, IU Health Bloomington Hospital is a designated Primary Stroke Center through the Joint Commission. Much like the rigorous criteria it had to meet to achieve the silver plus award, IU Health Bloomington Hospital worked with the Joint Commission to undergo a thorough and difficult survey process to ensure that it's stroke care met the highest standards for patients around the clock.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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.

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