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  • The Miriam Hospitals Stroke Program Recognized Nationally for Outstanding Care

  • The Miriam Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes The Miriam Hospital's commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

    This is the hospital's second consecutive Gold Plus designation. The Miriam has also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Stroke Gold award since 2008.

    To receive the Gold Plus award, The Miriam Hospital achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and 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, 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.

    "Our stroke response is something we are extremely proud of at The Miriam Hospital, and this honor demonstrates our commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care," said William Corwin, M.D., senior vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at The Miriam Hospital. "Thanks to our dedicated and talented physicians, nurses and staff in the Stroke Center and the emergency department, we have successfully implemented stringent quality measures to ensure anyone who has suffered a stroke receives the highest standard of care."

    The Stroke Center at The Miriam Hospital was the first in Rhode Island to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditation agency for health care organizations in the United States, and the only hospital in the state to be certified three times. Its acute stroke team is available around-the-clock for stroke emergencies as part of the hospital's comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes brain imaging scans, patient evaluations conducted by a staff neurologist, and the use of clot-busting medications when appropriate.

    The Miriam Hospital's Stroke Center also offers the latest minimally invasive and advanced treatment capabilities, options, such as the Merci Retrieval device and the EKOS NeuroWave Catheter. More than 600 stroke patients are treated at The Miriam Hospital each year.

    "The Miriam Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients," 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. "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."

    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 Get With The Guidelines-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. 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.