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American Heart Association recognizes Providence for high-quality stroke care


Anchorage, AK
— Providence Alaska Medical Center has received a national award for its high-quality care of patients experiencing stroke.

PAMC received the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for its care of stroke patients from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. This marks the fourth consecutive year Providence Alaska Medical Center has been recognized with a Get With The Guidelines quality achievement award.

PAMC also received the association's Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.

"We are honored to once again be recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for our work to meet the standards of the Get With The Guidelines program," said Richard Mandsager, M.D., chief executive at Providence Alaska Medical Center. "This award validates our commitment to providing the best care to stroke patients in Alaska."

Hospitals earn Gold Performance Achievement recognition for achieving 85 percent or higher adherence with all Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Achievement Measures and 75 percent or higher compliance with five or more Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Measures for consecutive 12 month intervals and achieved Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy less than 60 minutes in 50 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

Get With The Guidelines is a hospital-based quality-improvement program designed to ensure that hospitals consistently care for cardiac and stroke patients following the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. The program addresses coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.

"We are pleased to recognize Providence Alaska Medical Center for their commitment and dedication to stroke care," said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients' length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care."

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps hospital staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.       

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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.

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About Providence Alaska Medical Center
Providence Alaska Medical Center is part of Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit network of hospitals, care centers, health plans, physicians, clinics, home health services, affiliated services and educational facilities. For more information about PAMC, visit: alaska.providence.org.

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers health care teams to save lives and reduce health care costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.