Taylor Hospital Earns ASA's Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award
Members of the stroke team at Taylor celebrate their achievement.
- Taylor Hospital has earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke (GWTG) Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
- The award recognizes Taylor’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.
- Taylor is also a Certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, and is home to the first inpatient rehabilitation unit in Delaware County — The Taylor Regional Rehabilitation Center.
- If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 911 right away. The faster you seek treatment, the better your chance for a favorable outcome and a lower risk of complications.
Taylor Hospital Also a Primary Stroke Center
In addition to being a Gold Plus recipient of the GWTG–Stroke award, Taylor Hospital is certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. This means that the hospital’s program meets the highest national standards of care for stroke patients and adhere to guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Delaware County Memorial Hospital are also Certified Primary Stroke Centers.
Taylor Hospital recently joined Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Delaware County Memorial as a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke (GWTG) Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Taylor’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.
GWTG is designed for in-hospital quality improvement. It places the expertise of the American Stroke Association to work for hospitals, ensuring that the care the hospital provides to stroke patients is up-to-date with the latest scientific guidelines. Gold Plus is the highest level of achievement available through the GWTG program.
To receive the award, Taylor achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all GWTG–Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 GWTG–Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
“To me, this is a very valuable award,” says Suzanne Hefton. R.N., stroke coordinator for Taylor Hospital. “The fact that a hospital must have 24 consecutive months of maintaining 85 percent or better compliance with clinical measures as well as other quality measures speaks volumes about our team’s efforts. We worked very hard to get this designation, and I think it represents the commitment from every member of the stroke team — including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, radiology, physical therapy and more. We set this award as a goal and attained it as soon as we were eligible.”
Hefton adds that the physicians are just as proud of the Gold award as she is. “Dr. Mihai Diamandi, our hospitalist representative on the stroke committee, made sure we brought the award around to all the departments involved in achieving it. He said that it should not hang on the wall in any one area because so many people played a part in earning it. This award belongs to everybody.”
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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.
“This award demonstrates the commitment of our staff — particularly nursing — to give a sustained effort to improve care,” says Bradley Grayum, M.D., CKHS neurologist and co-director of the Taylor Stroke Committee. “The award is based on very tangible actions on the part of our staff that, over time, produce better outcomes for our patients. Our patients and their families can count on receiving care that is in accordance with the American Heart Association’s current guidelines. Special recognition should go to the nurses on our stroke unit, but many individuals throughout the care team have worked hard to achieve the American Stroke Association’s Gold Plus award.”
Crozer-Keystone is working to reduce the incidence of stroke in its community and implement life-saving measures to help those who suffer a stroke. For example, 2011 marked the fourth consecutive year that Taylor has sponsored a contest for local elementary, middle and high schools to educate children on the signs and symptoms of stroke. Past contents have charged the students with creating poster, button and T-shirt designs, and winners took home cash prizes — as much as $750 for first place. “Community outreach is essential for us to get an upper hand on this debilitating disease,” says Gregory Cuculino, M.D., chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Taylor Hospital and co-director of the Taylor Stroke Committee. “Our contest reaches out to school children and their families, but Taylor also offers other programs that reach out to older members of the community and stroke survivors.
Rapid recognition and activation of the 9-1-1 system is essential for us to attempt to reverse the damage caused by a stroke and maximize recovery,” Cuculino continues. “Our ED and stroke unit are staffed by people trained in how to recognize and treat a stroke. We have the capability to handle all aspects of a stroke — from the diagnosis, to treatment, to ultimate recovery. We are all proud of the care we deliver to our stroke patients.”
In addition, Taylor is home to the first inpatient rehabilitation unit in Delaware County — The Taylor Regional Rehabilitation Center. The center, which opened in 1981, offers specialized rehab services to patients who have had a stroke (or have other neurological disorders). Taylor’s outcomes have consistently beaten the national averages in length-of-stay, discharge to home (instead of a nursing home or other skilled nursing facility) and functional improvement from admission to discharge.
If you notice the following symptoms of stroke in yourself or someone else, call 911 right away. The faster you seek treatment, the better your chance for a favorable outcome and a lower risk of complications.
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing
- Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
To learn more about stroke, visit http://stroke.crozerkeystone.org. For more information on the Taylor Regional Rehabilitation Center, call (610) 595-6540.