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Home About Us Newsroom News and Announcements 2013 Covenant Health receives American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Covenant Health receives American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Award demonstrates Covenant Health's commitment to quality care for stroke patients

Covenant Health has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes Covenant Health's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps Covenant Health's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives.

"Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. "Covenant Health's team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients."

Following Get With The Guidelines-Stroke treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

"Covenant Health is dedicated to making our care for stroke patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program helps us to accomplish this goal," said Tim Smith, Stroke Coordinator at Covenant Health. "This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we're very proud of our team."

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

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About Covenant Health

Covenant Health is the largest health care institution in the region with 1,077 licensed beds, more than 5,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 600 physicians at its cornerstone facilities. Covenant is a member of St. Joseph Health System in Orange County and serves a 62-county area spanning West Texas and eastern New Mexico, with a population in excess of 1.2 million. Learn more about Covenant Health at www.covenanthealth.org.

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.