Torrance Memorial Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart
Association. The award recognizes Torrance Memorial's commitment and
success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke
patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.
This marks the first year that Torrance Memorial has been recognized with
a Gold Plus Award. It has made a steady climb toward this achievement,
earning Bronze in 2010, Silver Plus in 2012 and in Gold Plus in 2013.
"The credit really goes to our entire staff for the daily work they
do to sustain a top-notch standard of care for our patients," said
Ed Nazareth, R.N., Stroke coordinator, Torrance Memorial Stroke Program.
"Last year we saw an increase in the number of stroke patients that
passed through our hospital. We typically see 350 to 375 and last year
we saw 430. This is due to our growing prominence within the community.
We also saw an increase in the number of patients who received tPA (tissue
plasminogen activator), a drug that dissolves blood clots. Use of tPA
can help improve outcomes dramatically for certain stroke patients."
Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps Torrance Memorial'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. "Torrance Memorial's
team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of
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.
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.