Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Medicine Stroke Programs Recognized by the American Heart Association

Northwestern Memorial Hospital April 21, 2015

Get With The Guidelines’ awards demonstrate a commitment to quality care for stroke patients

CHICAGO, IL   Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital both recently received the Get With The Guidelines® achievement awards from the American Heart Association (AHA). The awards recognize both Northwestern Medicine® hospitals’ commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines. 

Northwestern Memorial Hospital was awarded the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll and the Wood-Prince Family Stroke Center Program at Lake Forest Hospital was awarded the Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. Both awards were announced in April.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Richard Bernstein, MD, director of the stroke program and telestroke at Northwestern Memorial and professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “It’s absolutely crucial to have the right plan and guidelines in place to provide the highest quality care for our stroke patients. At Northwestern Medicine we are dedicated to making our stroke programs among the best in the country and these guidelines help us to accomplish that goal.”

On average, one American dies from a stroke every four minutes. Stroke is also the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and is the fourth leading cause of death among Americans. When a stroke occurs, rapid medical attention is crucial. When treatment is received promptly, a person has a far greater chance of surviving the stroke and more likely to have less lasting damage.

Get with the Guidelines–Stroke helps hospitals develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance. The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives. The program emphasizes aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. 

Northwestern Memorial and Lake Forest Hospital earned the awards by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

“As a certified primary stroke center, Lake Forest Hospital is one of the few state-recognized emergency departments in the northern suburbs that can accept ambulances with stroke patients,” said Laura Goldstein, MD, medical director of the Lake Forest Hospital stroke program. “Because of our technology and rigorous staff training, we are uniquely equipped to stabilize and treat anyone with stroke symptoms so our patients receive the best, most appropriate and most efficient care.”

Northwestern Memorial Hospital also provides telestroke coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week to physicians at Lake Forest Hospital and experts at the Northwestern Medicine Grayslake Outpatient Center providing the quickest and highest quality of care to stroke patients throughout the north and northwestern suburbs.

To celebrate receiving this recognition for the first time, Lake Forest hospital leaders, community and political leaders, representatives of the American Heart Association and SSEEO (Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other) will host a short recognition ceremony at 1 p.m. on May 1, 2015 at Lake Forest Hospital, 660 N. Westmoreland Road in Lake Forest. Members of the media are welcome to attend.  

Understanding risk factors and learning to recognize symptoms can potentially save lives and limit damage if a stroke occurs. By taking a quick health survey, you can learn about your personal risk factors with our online Stroke Risk Assessment. Read more information about the Northwestern Medicine Stroke Program or to find a physician, please call 312-926-0779. For information regarding the Lake Forest Hospital’s Stroke Center, call 847.535.6375.

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