VCU Medical Center honored for outstanding stroke care

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For the fourth consecutive year, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center has been awarded for superior stroke care from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

VCU received the “Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award – Stroke” and it also was designated as a “Target: Stroke Honor Roll” hospital for 2013-2014.

These awards are the AHA/ASA’s highest distinction for stroke care and reflect the superior interdepartmental and interdisciplinary efforts of physicians, nurses, technicians and administrators at VCU.

The AHA/ASA awards the Gold Plus achievement to hospitals that comply with at least 85 percent of performance indicators for 12 consecutive months. Hospitals must also meet 75 percent of measurements based on quality care of stroke patients. The Target: Stroke Honor Roll Award is designated for hospitals that hold Gold, Silver or Bronze performance achievement status in Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke and have door-to-needle (DTN) times within 60 minutes for at least 50 percent of applicable patients for at least one calendar quarter.

“At VCU Medical Center, we provide all-inclusive stroke care, 24 hours a day, giving patients the best chance for the best outcome,” said Warren Felton III, M.D., medical director of the VCU Stroke Center.

This is the fourth consecutive year VCU has received Gold or Gold Plus Performance Achievement measures, and the third consecutive year it has received the Target Stroke Honor Roll designation. With more than 1,600 participating hospitals, fewer than 900 hospitals receive AHA/ASA awards, with even less receiving a Gold or Gold Plus award.

In the past year, VCU Medical Center treated 81 percent of stroke patients within 60 minutes upon arrival, surpassing the Virginia and national benchmarks of 54 and 56 percent, respectively.

VCU Neurology offers an outpatient stroke clinic, the first in the Richmond area, and has the only hybrid neurosurgical suite in Virginia for advanced cather-based endovascular treatment of brain aneurysm and cerebral arterial blockage. The Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at VCU is the only facility in metropolitan Richmond staffed by neuro-critical care specialists.

AHA/ASA established the “Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke” program to improve hospitals’ care for stroke patients with the latest research and technology since 2003. As well as recognizing hospitals for their excellence in patient care, the program provides additional training for faculty and staff in the latest stroke research.