TMC presented with award, recognition for achievements in stroke treatment

BDP49509Tucson Medical Center routinely achieves critical treatment timelines for patients that give them the best outcomes after heart attack or stroke.

“On behalf of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, I thank you for your commitment,” said Ron Loomis, Jr., the senior regional director for quality and systems improvement for the associations, in presenting an award to the TMC team.

TMC earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award by meeting specific quality metrics for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke within a designated period that are scientifically proven to reduce death and disability for stroke patients.

TMC additionally received the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll award, which reduces time between when a patient suffering from ischemic stroke arrives at the hospital and when treatment starts with a clot-busting drug. Ischemic strokes occur when the arteries to the brain narrow or become blocked, reducing blood flow. We are the only hospital in Southern Arizona with this top level designation.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to these evidence-based guidelines often see improved outcomes and fewer readmissions,” Loomis said.

BDP49513Dr. David Teeple, the medical director for TMC’s stroke program, said the program has been growing in effectiveness for the last 10 years, to the point that TMC has for many years been recognized for putting proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis.

“It’s ingrained in what we do here now,” he told the team, “but don’t underestimate the hard work you all do to achieve these guidelines. I’m incredibly grateful and our patients are incredibly grateful.”

TMC receives prestigious Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite

American Heart Association recognizes TMC’s commitment to quality stroke care

TMCawardedGetWithGuidelinesTucson Medical Center is pleased to announce that our hospital was recently honored with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes TMC’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, 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 treat ischemic 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. Tucson Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

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

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said TMC’s Stroke Program Coordinator Renee McAloney.  “TMC continues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

TMC has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center and as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. Certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, through the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, is a prestigious designation held by only two hospitals in the state of Arizona.

“The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize TMC for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

Get With The Guidelines®-S puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines®-S has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.

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, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.



Saving Strokes: event showcases golf as a recovery tool

Tucson Medical Center, in conjunction with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and HealthSouth Rehab Institute of Tucson, hosted the community’s first Saving Strokes, last Friday, Nov. 18, at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon.

Golf, along with many other types of physical activity, can be a driving force in the physical recovery of stroke survivors. But disability need not stop a stroke survivor from playing – or learning – golf, which can improve strength and flexibility and provide a valuable social outlet for survivors and their caregivers.

Saving Strokes offered an opportunity for people to enjoy an afternoon meeting new people who have experienced similar challenges, take advantage of a number of health screenings and learning about post-stroke traditional and complementary healing and wellness.

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Molly Griffis, R.N., TMC’s stroke coordinator shared photos and thoughts about the event:

It was an absolutely beautiful sunny November day, the weather was in the mid-70’s and perfect for Saving Strokes. The event started out in the Lodge where stroke survivors and caregivers/partners were greeted by Michael Lally, R.N, manager of the TMC Neurology/Neurosurgery unit and members of his staff.

Participants received an AHA/ASA bag full of goodies from TMC, HealthSouth, Carondelet and Northwest Hospital.

About 20 stroke survivors and their care partners went upstairs to enjoy a lunch of soup and sandwiches. Dr. David Teeple, TMC Stroke Medical Director, led a discussion on preventing recurrent stroke through risk reduction; and Jon Foote, a stroke survivor spoke on his personal journey of survival. He did a great job motivating and inspiring the Saving Strokes participants.

The stroke survivors and care partners were carefully shuttled to the green via golf carts, where they each participated in pre-golf screenings, including blood-pressure screenings by TMC staff, and safety, balance, and grip assessments by HealthSouth therapists.

The participants then went to the driving range where Ventana golf pros provided golf lessons to everyone. Even those who were confined to wheelchairs or utilized walkers were able to participate!

After the golf lessons, participants could explore different comfort tent offerings. TMC provided information on the signs and symptoms of stroke, risk reduction, coaching and support. We also handed out our stroke bookmarks and our left brain/right brain booklets.

TMC Senior Services had a booth on the many services on our El Dorado campus. Bob and Wanda, the co-facilitators of the TMC stroke support group were helpful throughout the day.

Researchers from the University of Arizona spoke about research on the effectiveness of Tai Chi vs. Silver Sneakers vs. regular day-to-day choices for stroke survivors.

And there were generous volunteers from RUBS providing chair massages to stroke survivors and care partners.

Once survivors and care partners decided to call it a day, TMC staff and our Saving Strokes’ team drove them back to their vehicles.

It was truly a wonderful day for survivors, care partners and volunteers!

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461