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BFMC Receives Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

May 14, 2012

Award demonstrates Baystate Franklin’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients


GREENFIELD--   Baystate Franklin Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.  The award recognizes Baystate Franklin’s commitment to and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, BFMC achieved an 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.  

These measures include timely and appropriate use of medications, such as t-PA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. They also include individualized patient education on how to reduce risk for a second stroke or heart attack, as well as customized educational materials for patients upon their discharge from the hospital. 

At Baystate Franklin, a multidisciplinary team of individuals comprise the Stroke Oversight Committee.  They include representatives from Quality and Risk Management, Laboratory, Emergency, Hospital Medicine, Nursing, Dietary, Cardiopulmonary and Radiology departments and Baystate Health Ambulance.  The team meets every other month to review outcomes and address issues to ensure that the process of treating someone with stroke symptoms runs smoothly, quickly and flawlessly.  Rajiv Padmanabhan, MD, Baystate Medical Practices – Greenfield Neurology is medical director of the committee.  Stroke coordinator is Annette Szpila, RN, assistant director of Professional Development; and Nancy Woodring, Quality and Risk Management, is Performance Improvement coordinator.


"The care of a stroke patient is very much a team effort,” Szpila explained.  “Every member of the team has an equally important role in assessing the patient’s condition and determining appropriate treatment.  I am proud to be part of such a dedicated and committed group of people, who, together, have earned us this Gold Plus award.”


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. 


The National Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.9 million brain cells are lost each minute during a stroke. 


“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost,” said Rajiv Padmanabhan, MD, BMP – Greenfield Neurology, and medical director of the BFMC Stroke Oversight Committee. “So it is imperative that we have a team that is ready for rapid, efficient treatment when a patient arrives with stroke symptoms.  Baystate Franklin Medical Center has such a team.  I offer my appreciation for and congratulations to everyone who was involved in earning this award.”