DMH News

DMH Receives Get With The GuidelinesĀ®- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award


Award demonstrates Decatur Memorial Hospital’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients

Decatur Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes DMH’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, Decatur Memorial Hospital achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.

These measures include aggressive use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates Decatur Memorial Hospital’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” 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 available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.”

“Decatur Memorial Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and 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.”

This is the fourth 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 Gold Performance Achievement Award. In 2010, the hospital received 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.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. 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, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool gives healthcare providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The time is right for DMH to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–Stroke,” said Ken Smithmier, President & 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 Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About Decatur Memorial Hospital
Decatur Memorial Hospital (DMH), located in Decatur, Ill., is a not-for-profit, community hospital that has been providing medical care since 1916 for the residents of Central Illinois. Today, DMH is a 280-bed facility with nearly 2,500 dedicated employees and 300 physicians. DMH encompasses 12 state-of-the-art Centers of Excellence which focus on proven quality healthcare. In 2012, DMH was named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters. For more information, call 217-876-2850.

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit