Bassett Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award and two Elite Honor Roll awards. The awards recognize the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines that adhere to the latest scientific evidence.

Bassett earned the Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award by reaching an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care for two consecutive calendar years. In addition, the hospital demonstrated 75 percent compliance with seven out of 10 stroke quality measures during the 12-month period.

“Time plays a vital role in the life of a stroke patient; minutes can mean the difference between life and death,” explains Bassett Medical Center’s Chief of Neurology Paul Deringer, MD. “Bassett has a comprehensive system in place for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients that includes diagnostic imaging, having specialists available to evaluate patients, and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.”

Jo-Ann Vass, stroke coordinator for Bassett Medical Center, is responsible for community education related to stroke awareness. She notes, “Studies show patients can recover better when they get treatment quickly and when the association’s guidelines are consistently followed. The care of our patients is our number one priority, and what really gets us excited is seeing the lives we’re impacting in such a meaningful way.”

In addition to the Stroke Gold Plus award, Bassett earned the association’s Target: Stroke Elite and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards.

To qualify for the diabetes recognition, the hospital had to meet specific quality measures related to the care of hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The hospital needed to demonstrate 90 percent compliance with these measures for 12 consecutive months.

Bassett qualified for the Target: Stroke Elite award by demonstrating timely treatment of stroke patients with tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat strokes caused by a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain.

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.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke 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.