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Uniontown Hospital earns Gold Plus Award for stroke care


Uniontown Hospital announced Friday that the facility has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

“This award highlights the dedicated effort by our physicians and clinicians to provide the best care as quickly as possible to all our patients presenting with stroke symptoms,” CEO Steve Handy said. “We are committed to making a healthy difference for our patients and when it comes to stroke, we are doing all we can to save lives and ensure positive outcomes.” 

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke “achievement indicators” for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and also achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients, according to the AHA/ASA.

They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This award showcases the efforts of our staff to provide rapid, quality care for stroke patients,” Sandy Thorpe, Executive Director of Critical Care Services and Patient Flow said.  

Lori Matthews, the hospital’s Stroke Coordinator, agreed.

“We continue to work for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association provides recognition for the hard work our team does each and every day.”

Uniontown Hospital has also met specific Joint Commission guidelines for classification as a Primary Stroke Center, employing a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

“The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize Uniontown Hospital for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

According to the AHA/ASA, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

The AHA/ASA award comes just months after the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the U.S., designated Uniontown Hospital as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®.

Uniontown Hospital was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance in six different categories – including stroke care. 

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