DMH News

Decatur Memorial Hospital Receives American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award


Decatur, Ill. – Decatur Memorial Hospital recently received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM– Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Decatur Memorial Hospital’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.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time,” said Oliver Dold, M.D., Medical Director of DMH Neuroscience. “Decatur Memorial Hospital has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having a stroke team and neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.”

To receive the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award, Decatur Memorial Hospital demonstrated 85 percent or higher adherence in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke key measures for 24 or more consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs, and smoking cessation.

This is the third time Decatur Memorial Hospital has been nationally recognized for stroke care by the American Stroke Association. Last year, the hospital was recognized with Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement for demonstrating measures for stroke care for 12 consecutive months. In 2009, the hospital received the Get With the Guidelines– Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award for consistently following the treatment guidelines in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program for 90 days.

In 2008, the hospital was awarded Primary Stroke Center Certification and the Gold Seal of Approval by the Joint Commission, an independent organization that accredits and certifies U.S. healthcare organizations.

“The American Stroke Association commends Decatur Memorial Hospital for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., Vice-Chair of the national Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Vice-Chair of the Neurology Department and Director of Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines–Stroke, Decatur Memorial Hospital provides customized patient education materials at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool* provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“Our ability to deliver quality stroke care is critical,” said Ken Smithmier, President and CEO, Decatur Memorial Hospital. “The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population.”

According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke — 610,000 are first attacks and 185,000 are recurrent. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States is suffering from a stroke. This deadly condition accounts for one out of every 18 deaths in the United States.

For more information about stroke care at Decatur Memorial Hospital, call Barb Weis, DMH Stroke Coordinator, at 217-876-FAST.

*Powered by Outcomes, Inc.