For the eighth consecutive year, MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Long Beach Medical Center’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
Long Beach Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.
“We treat nearly 1,000 stroke cases each year and this award exemplifies the continued dedication we have to delivering high quality stroke care,” says Ike Mmeje, chief operating officer, Long Beach Medical Center. “The strength of our patient care is the result of collaboration between our multi-disciplinary team, who work in partnership to ensure the best clinical outcomes.”
Long Beach Medical Center additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
To be effective, the drug must be given within three hours, and in selected individuals, within 4.5 hours after a stroke. In the first 6 months of 2018, Long Beach Medical Center reported a tPA administration rate of 20%, whereas the national average was 3 - 8%.
“Regardless of the type of stroke, our team is ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Nima Ramezan, M.D., medical director, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Long Beach Medical Center. “Our highly trained experts provide immediate response when someone having a stroke arrives, whether through life-saving medication or advanced surgical interventions.”
Long Beach Medical Center is a designated Joint Commission Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Joint Commission offers four advanced levels of stroke certification for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals with the Comprehensive Stroke Center being the highest designation. Emergency medical services routing protocols dictate that patients be taken to Comprehensive Stroke Centers when they are the most complicated cases since those centers are best equipped to provide the specialized care that can lead to better outcomes.