Fletcher Allen Recognized by American Heart Association And American Stroke Association For Implementing a Higher Standard of Stroke Care

BURLINGTON VT – Fletcher Allen’s Stroke Program recently received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With The Guidelines” Silver Plus Performance Achievement award for achieving stroke care benchmarks.  The award recognizes the Stroke Program’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

           To receive the award, Fletcher Allen’s Stroke Program had to achieve at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines Stroke Performance Achievement indicators, and achieve at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Measures during that same time period.  Fletcher Allen met and exceeded these benchmarks in almost every category.

           These measures, designed to improve our quality of care, include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA (a protein designed to dissolve blood clots), antithrombotics (such as aspirin), anticoagulation (coumadin) therapy where appropriate, medications to prevent blood clots, cholesterol- reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

          “With a stroke, acting rapidly is crucial to limit brain damage, and this award validates that our staff is committed to providing best-practice care to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,” said Mark Gorman, M.D., UVM Medical Group neurologist and director of the Fletcher Allen Stroke Program, and UVM associate professor of Neurology.  “Careful attention to details and appropriate use of medications are critical steps in saving the lives and improving the outcomes of stroke patients.”

          The Stroke Program was also recognized for excellence by The Joint Commission in 2009 as well as with the Get With The Guidelines bronze award in 2008.

          According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

         For more information on Get With The Guidelines, visit www.americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.