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story.lead_photo.caption From left to right, Amy Triplet, Chief Nursing Officer; Jordan Turner, Stroke Coordinator; and Sonya Justice, Director of Emergency Services at MCSA display their recognition from the American Heart Association for quality care for stroke and diabetic patients. (Contributed)

The Medical Center of South Arkansas has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Medical Center of South Arkansas earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for over 24 months.

These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Medical Center of South Arkansas is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Amy Triplet, Chief Nursing Officer. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Medical Center of South Arkansas additionally received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

“We are pleased to recognize Medical Center of South Arkansas for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer re-admissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number 5 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 and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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