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National Stroke Quality Improvement Program Passes the Million Mark
Date:7/22/2009

n Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines steering committee, the program helps track care for individual patients and provides good reminders for healthcare providers.

"In many hospitals, medicine is conducted by memory," said Fonarow. "Busy clinicians try to recall for each patient the appropriate evidence-based therapies, all during the chaos of the day. If they don't remember all of this, repetitive oversights may occur."

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke provides checklists of guidelines-based treatments for healthcare providers. These include the administration of specific medications to treat the immediate, or acute phase of the stroke, drugs to help reduce risk factors and help prevent another stroke or cardiovascular event, and patient education on necessary lifestyle modifications.

According to published research, the program is working. A study published December 15, 2008 in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association reported that Get With The Guidelines-Stroke led to unprecedented improvements in composite care quality -- after five years, participating hospitals showed 90 percent improvement in adhering to guidelines. The study provides proof that participating hospitals are improving the care of hundreds of thousands of stroke/TIA patients.

In the U.S., stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. Each year, about 795 000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. Approximately 185,000 are recurrent strokes. There are also high rates of medical complications in stroke patients. The estimated direct and indirect costs of stroke exceed $68.9 billion in 2009.

For more information, visit www.americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.


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SOURCE American Heart Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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