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Ten public hospitals recognized by American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for improving quality of care and patient outcomes

NYC Health + Hospitals has received national recognition awards for 10 of its hospitals for implementing specific quality improvement measures related to the treatment of patients suffering from heart failure, cardiac arrest and stroke. The awards from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recognize the consistent application of best-practice, research-based standards of care, which reduce recovery time, disability and mortality rates for stroke patients, and reduce hospital readmissions for heart-failure patients.

“Across NYC Health + Hospitals, staff continue to push the mark each year to meet the guidelines set by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association,” said Machelle Allen, M.D., chief medical officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Our patients should be reassured to know that, when they come to NYC Health + Hospitals, the care they will receive is nationally recognized for its high quality.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County received two “Get with the Guidelines” (GWTG) awards: the GWTG-Heart Failure Silver Award for cardiac-care excellence and the GWTG-Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll Award. Kings County has received the Stroke Gold Plus Award for the past six years, and recently launched a new state-of-the-art procedure for stroke patients who can benefit from a mechanical thrombectomy to remove blood clots on the brain. Eight sister hospitals received the highest award for excellence in stroke care, and six received high honors for excellence in heart-failure care; three received awards for excelling in both.

“I am very proud of the lifesaving care provided by our stroke team, which enables many patients to have the best possible outcomes,” said Ernest J. Baptiste, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. “The quick response of our clinical teams has made it possible for many patients to resume their daily lives. The additional recognition for cardiac care underscores the priority we place on providing state-of-the-art treatments for our community.”

“As part of a safety-net hospital, the stroke center is dedicated to provide the highest-quality stroke care to everyone,” said Dr. Susan Law, director of the Kings County Stroke Center. “The success of our stroke center is a collaborative effort from nursing, education, emergency medicine, critical care and neuroradiology departments. Our recent award by the AHA/ASA is a true testament to our teamwork.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years. However, many heart-failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

The awards recognize success in meeting or exceeding standards established by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association through their GWTG program. To earn recognition in stroke care, the standards include aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs; preventive action for deep-vein thrombosis; and smoking-cessation counseling. To earn the award for excellence in heart-failure care, standards include the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies; provision of educational materials to patients on managing heart failure and overall health; and scheduling of follow-up visits. To earn recognition for resuscitation, the standards include adopting protocols for patient safety, medical emergency team response, effective and timely resuscitation, and post-resuscitation care.

Most of the awards received by NYC Health + Hospitals also featured add-on “Elite” and/or “Plus” recognition, indicating that additional rigorous criteria had also been met—criteria such as, for stroke, “time to intravenous thrombolytic therapy: 60 min.”

Nine of the public health system’s hospitals, including NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, are designated stroke centers by the New York State Department of Health. Trained in stroke diagnosis and treatment, dedicated stroke teams are committed to providing patients with rapid diagnosis and effective treatment.

To receive more information or get connected to care, visit nychealthandhospitals.org to find a public hospital in your community.

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