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Alexian Brothers Hospital Network Receives American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines Achievement Award

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village, IL, and St. Alexius Medical Center, Hoffman Estates, IL, have each received the American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines(SM) - Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) Silver Performance Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the commitment of both hospitals -- part of the Alexian Brothers Hospital Network -- to implement a higher standard of stroke care and ensure that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTG-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time," said Wende Fedder, RN, MBA Director, Stroke and Neurovascular Center, Alexian Brothers Hospital Network. Alexian Brothers Medical Center and St. Alexius Medical Center developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain-imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

To receive the GWTG-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, both Alexian Brothers Medical Center and St. Alexius Medical Center consistently complied for at least one year with the requirements in the GWTG-Stroke program. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. This twelve-month evaluation period is the second in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

"The American Stroke Association commends Alexian Brothers Medical Center and St. Alexius Medical Center for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national Get With the Guidelines Steering Committee Member and director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."

GWTG-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals' guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through GWTG-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the GWTG Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

"The time is right for Alexian Brothers Medical Center and St. Alexius Medical Center to focus on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing GWTG-Stroke," said Fedder. "The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population. St. Alexius Medical Center was the first community hospital in Illinois to receive a Get With the Guidelines Quality award for stroke in 2005. We now have the honor of receiving the next level of the Get With the Guidelines award at the Silver level at both Alexian Brothers Medical Center and St. Alexius Medical Center."

According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke -- 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.

About Alexian Brothers Hospital Network

The Alexian Brothers Hospital Network (ABHN) is comprised of Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Hoffman Estates, and the Alexian Rehabilitation Hospital in Elk Grove Village. Together these four hospitals are known for advanced medicine and providing unsurpassed treatment and care to the nearly two million residents of Chicago's northwest suburbs.

SOURCE Alexian Brothers Hospital Network
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