Falmouth Hospital Receives Stroke Care Awards

Falmouth Hospital has received two recognitions for its stroke care.

The hospital recently received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Defect-free Care Award from the department’s Paul Coverdell National Stroke Program.

The Get With The Guidelines award (GWTG-Stroke) recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines. 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 achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five to eight GWTG-Stroke Quality measures.

The quality measures 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 smoke cessation counseling.

“Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program,” said Paul Heidenreich, MD, MS, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and professor of medicine at Stanford University.

The DPH Defect-free Care Award from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program recognizes hospitals that, from the period of January to December 2017, provided defect-free care to 90 percent or more of their stroke patients by utilizing all of the interventions for which each patient was eligible. Defect-free care is achieved when a patient receives the appropriate care based on clinical guidelines.

“We are honored to have been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the Department of Public Health with these important awards,” said Michael K. Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, the parent organization of Falmouth Hospital. “Our physicians and stroke teams understand that providing the latest and best care as quickly as possible results in better outcomes for stroke patients, and they continually strive to meet this goal.”

Falmouth Hospital also received the Dysphagia Screening greater than or equal to 90% Award from the DPH Paul Coverdell Acute Stroke Program. The award recognizes hospitals that complete dysphagia screening on at least 90 percent of stroke patients from January to December 2017.

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the Commonwealth, and a leading cause of adult disability. Immediate assessment and treatment is critical to help improve outcomes. Knowing the key signs and symptoms of stroke, and calling 911 immediately can save a life.

The FAST acronym is an easy way to remember:

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
  • Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
  • Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
  • Time: If you observe these symptoms, call 911

For more information about the Massachusetts Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program or about FAST and the DPH stroke awareness campaign, please visit www.mass.gov/dph/heartstroke.

The Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded quality improvement collaborative administered by the DPH, that supports Primary Stroke Service hospitals.