Wake Forest Baptist Recognized for Providing Top Quality Stroke Care, Patient Outcomes

September 10, 2011

Once again, the American Heart Association/AmericanStroke Association has awarded Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center its top quality award for stroke care as measured by the Get WithThe Guidelines? program.

The Gold Plus Award for Stroke Performance Achievement means Wake Forest Baptist has achieved 85% or higher adherence to Get With The Guidelines stroke performance indicators for 12 consecutive months and has 75% or higher compliance in a majority of the program’s stroke quality measures that improve patient care and outcomes. Wake Forest Baptist has consistently and successfully implemented these quality measures for 24 consecutive months.

Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist’s Stroke Center, said following these guidelines is the key to reducing death and disability among stroke patients.  “These quality indicators are focused on preventing complications, such as screening for swallowing problems and getting patients started on the right medications prior to discharge,” Bushnell said.  “We believe that quality of care measures at the acute evaluation really do lead to better outcomes in stroke patients.”

According to the program’s treatment guidelines, stroke patients initially receive an aggressive evaluation for the clot-busting drug tPA as quickly as possible after arriving at the Emergency Department, in addition to risk reduction therapy prior to discharge. Once the acute risk has passed, patients are provided comprehensive stroke education, smoking cessation counseling, and are assessed for stroke rehabilitation before they are discharged. Some studies show that patients are most likely to adhere to a medical professional’s recommendations in the time immediately following a stroke.

Last year, 1153 patients at Wake Forest Baptist were treated for stroke and stroke-related illness. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, nationwide 795,000 people suffer from a stroke each year.

Media Relations

Paula Faria: pfaria@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1279

Marguerite Beck: marbeck@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-2415