HONOLULU – The Queen’s Medical Center – Punchbowl (Queen’s) and The Queen’s Medical Center – West Oʻahu (QMC-West) have received the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. This award recognizes the hospitals’ commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally-recognized, research-based guidelines.
Queen’s and QMC-West earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for patients. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, and receive other care transition interventions.
“Stroke is a devastating condition that could change a person’s life forever if not treated in a timely manner. Every minute during a stroke, 1.9 million brain cells are lost permanently. But when we work together as a team to provide a definitive treatment in a timely manner, we see miracles. We see our patients regain full brain function and go back home to their loved ones. This award demonstrates Queen’s commitment to provide the highest quality of acute stroke care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” Kazuma Nakagawa, MD, Medical Director of Queen’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, said.
Queen’s also received the Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus Award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy Award. To qualify, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
In the area of cardiac care, the AHA awarded Queen’s its Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award for meeting specific measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients, including evaluation of the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions.
“Put simply, this certification means our consistent quality improvement efforts are saving lives. Patients coming to Queen’s can know they are getting the best in heart failure care across the Hawaiian Islands, as judged by the AHA’s exacting standards. That care is the result of the work of an accomplished and experienced team of professionals specializing in cardiovascular care,” Dipanjan Banerjee, MD, Director of Queen’s Advanced Heart Failure Program, said.
“We are pleased to recognize Queen’s and QMC-West for their commitment to stroke and heart failure care,” Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, said. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”
Finally, Queen’s and QMC-West were recognized with the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll™ Award. To qualify, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”
According to the association, stroke is the No. 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.
More than 6.5 million adults in the U.S. are living with heart failure, according to the association. Many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes