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Roseville, Calif.- Kaiser Permanente Sacramento and Roseville Medical Centers have received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelinesยฎ Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Kaiser Permanente’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.

To receive the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award, the hospitals achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines Stroke Performance Achievement indicators and achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Measures during that same period of time, 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.

“Our mission is to meet the needs of our patients and our community by being a leader in the provision of high quality stroke care,” said George Palma, MD, Director of the Stroke Centers at both hospitals. “This award shows that we are fulfilling our mission and doing it in an environment of caring, teamwork and pride.”

“Kaiser Permanente 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.”

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. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. 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.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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