June 11, 2015

Overlake Medical Center Stroke Care Program Receives ‘Gold’ Honors

Recognition underscores hospital’s focus on saving lives and reducing the effects of ‘brain attacks’

(Bellevue, WASH. Overlake Medical Center’s commitment to saving the lives and brains of those suffering from a stroke just received two strong recognitions: The Joint Commission’s Advanced Primary Stroke Center certification and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. The hospital also earned the associations’ Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus recognition.

“These awards recognize Overlake’s commitment to delivering the best care possible to those suffering from a stroke,” said Overlake Chief Medical Officer David Knoepfler, MD. “They underscore our organization’s ability to deliver life- and brain-saving treatments to our stroke patients and represent the dedication of numerous physicians and teams throughout our medical network.”

The Advanced Primary Stroke Center certification is The Joint Commissions’ “Gold Seal of Approval” for stroke care programs. The Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Achievement award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally-recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and these recognitions demonstrate our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” Knoepfler said. “We want our community to know that we are ready with comprehensive stroke care whenever they need it.”

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, 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 treatischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. 

Overlake earned the highest honor roll level possible by delivering this thrombolytic therapy within 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA. The hospital’s door-to-needle time for patients presenting in the Emergency Department was within 45 minutes in at least half of patients.

The quality measures behind these recognitions are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“We are pleased to recognize Overlake Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes.  795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality orheart.org/QualityMap

About the Joint Commission
The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Published on June 11, 2015