Cox Medical Center Branson has joined American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke, a quality improvement program created to help hospital teams provide guideline-based care for stroke patients.
Get With The Guidelines®– Stroke, or GWTG-Stroke, was originally developed from recommendations by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the Brain Attack Coalition. These recommendations led to clinical guidelines for hospital teams to use with the goal of helping speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients.
As a GWTG–Stroke participating hospital, Cox Branson is encouraged to develop a comprehensive system for providing rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke when patients are admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain-imaging scans, making neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
Cox Branson is also increasing its efforts to prevent secondary strokes through the aggressive use of medications such as statins and anti-platelets. Other methods include the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atherosclerosis and management of smoking cessation, weight, exercise, diabetes and cholesterol.
Through GWTG–Stroke, the American Stroke Association provides Cox Branson training and staffing recommendations, care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders, data-collection and measurement tools. The program also facilitates creating and sharing best practices among participating hospitals.
“Cox Medical Center Branson is dedicated to helping our stroke patients have the best possible outcome and implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program will help us accomplish this by making it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis,” said Shelia Russell, RN, Stroke Coordinator, Cox Branson Nursing Administration.
Stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. About 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year, and the number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade.