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Crozer and DCMH Earn AHA/ASA Gold Plus Stroke Achievement Award

by Mary Wascavage

In Brief

  • Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Delaware Country Memorial Hospital achieved the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for stroke care. Gold Plus is the highest level of achievement through the GWTG program.
  • The GWTG program 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.
  • Crozer and DCMH, along with Taylor Hospital, are certified by The Joint Commission as Primary Stroke Centers. This means that the hospitals’ programs meet the highest national standards of care for stroke patients and adhere to guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.
  • If you suspect someone is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 and ask for treatment at a Certified Primary Stroke Center.

Recently, Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Delaware Country Memorial Hospital were presented with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for stroke care. The award recognizes Crozer and DCMH’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.

Get With The Guidelines–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 heart attack or 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 Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool gives health care providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care. 

To receive the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award, Crozer and DCMH achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals. Each hospital also achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA (a clot-busting medication), 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.

Gold Plus is the highest level of achievement available through the GWTG program. Both Crozer and DCMH, as well as Taylor Hospital, have achieved the Bronze and Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award. Taylor is in the process of working toward the Gold Award.

“An award of this type demonstrates a commitment to consistently provide excellent care at all levels of the patient care team,” says Bradley Grayum M.D., chief of the Division of Neurology at Crozer. “This cannot be achieved by the head of a department or a director of the stroke program, but only by the efforts of our stroke coordinators, head nurses and floor nurses who plan and provide the care that is judged by these guidelines. When we have asked our nurses to take on additional clinical tasks (or simply additional documentation) they have been engaged and enthusiastic. For example, stroke education for our patients is a crucial element of the service provided by any good stroke team (i.e., explaining to patients how to avoid having another stroke). Our nursing staff has developed and executed the plan for delivering this crucial information to our patients at a level that was recognized by this Gold award.

“These awards are not earned by brilliant thoughts or clever conceptual insights,” Grayum continues, “but only through the care and efforts of the people who are on the floors with the patients all day and all night. They’ve had to work to change the way they deliver care and we should all appreciate their efforts. Care provided at a level that warrants an award like this is a resource for all of us who live or work in the community.”

“The Gold Plus award given to both Crozer and DCMH reaffirms a system-wide commitment to the highest level of stroke treatment within Crozer-Keystone Health System. The residents of Delaware County can be reassured that when they experience stroke-like symptoms they will be treated with the utmost urgency and state-of-the-art care in order to minimize complications and maximize recovery,” adds Joseph Lubeck, D.O., medical director of the Stroke Program at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

Suzanne Jenkins, R.N., stroke coordinator for Crozer and Taylor, comments on the team approach that is used to take care of stroke patients. “Each person plays an integral part in the recovery of that patient — from EMS, who brings them to the hospital, to the nurse who discharges them to rehab or home. Our focus is to deliver quick, evidence-based care and then work with the patient to make sure they know what to do to prevent another stroke, as well as how to minimize their risk factors,” she says.

In addition, Crozer, DCMH, and Taylor are all certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. This means that the hospitals’ programs meet the highest national standards of care for stroke patients and adhere to guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. “Remember this statement: Time is Brain!,” says Maureen DePrince, R.N., clinical program coordinator for DCMH. “Seeking treatment immediately for stroke can significantly impact a patient’s outcome. Hospitals that are certified as Primary Stroke Centers have proven that an organized, multidisciplinary approach to stroke treatment and care can greatly improve a patient’s chances for a full recovery. Stroke Centers have systems in place that ensure that all departments work together to provide the best possible care to our patients — from acute treatment to rehabilitation, and then secondary stroke prevention.”

To learn more about stroke, visit http://stroke.crozer.org.

Contact Us

Crozer-Keystone Health System

Grant Gegwich, Vice President

Phone: 610-447-6316
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-604-1728

Crozer-Chester Medical Center

Grant Gegwich, Vice President

Phone: 610-447-6316
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-604-1728

Kate Stier, Director

Phone: 610-447-6314
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-541-3130

Community Hospital

Grant Gegwich, Vice President

Phone: 610-447-6316
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-604-1728

Kate Stier,  Director

Phone: 610-447-6314
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-541-3130

Springfield Hospital

Grant Gegwich, Vice President

Phone: 610-447-6316
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-604-1728

Kate Stier,  Director

Phone: 610-447-6314
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-541-3130

Healthplex Sports Club

Grant Gegwich, Vice President

Phone: 610-447-6316
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-604-1728

Kate Stier, Director

Phone: 610-447-6314
Fax: 610-447-2015
Pager: 610-541-3130

Delaware County Memorial Hospital

Mary Wascavage
Director of Public Relations and Marketing

Phone: 610-284-8619
Fax: 610-284-8606
Pager: 610-318-0861

Taylor Hospital

Mary Wascavage, Director

Phone: 610-284-8619
Fax: 610-284-8606
Pager: 610-318-0861