Following these guidelines makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, to improve outcomes for stroke patients.Timothy G. Lukovits, MD
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) has received the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.
Stroke is the fifth-highest cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. 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. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times.
Get With The Guidelines-Stroke awards were developed to assist health care professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.
“DHMC is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best chance of recovery after a stroke,” said Timothy G. Lukovits, MD, Medical Director of the Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H). “Following these guidelines makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”
Each year, program participants apply for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.
“We are pleased to recognize DHMC for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the AHA Quality Oversight Committee, and the executive vice chair of Neurology and director of Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “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.”
DHMC also received AHA’s “Honor Roll Elite” award, which recognizes quality measures developed by hospitals to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival 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, which occurs when blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked.
Additionally, DHMC received AHA’s “Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll” award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90 percent of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”
DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK HEALTH (D-HH), New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves a population of 1.9 million across Northern New England. D-H provides access to more than 2,400 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH. DHMC was named in 2019 as the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in 13 clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health also includes the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only children’s hospital; affiliated member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-H system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.