Atlantic Health System’s Chilton Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, 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. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Chilton 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.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. Chilton Medical Center works daily to achieve excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients by delivering advanced stroke treatment to patients quickly and safely,” said Stephanie Schwartz, president, Chilton Medical Center. “The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus is validation that we continue to meet our obligation to our patients by providing them with the most comprehensive treatment possible.”

Chilton Medical Center is designated a Primary Stroke Center by both the Joint Commission and The New Jersey Department of Health. Primary Stroke Center status is earned by hospitals that meet strict guidelines for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke.

Additionally, Chilton Medical Center offers stroke telemedicine, where patients in the Emergency Department are afforded immediate access, via a remote connection, to the neurologists at Atlantic Neuroscience Institute at Overlook Medical Center.

As part of a larger Atlantic Health System offering, the tele-stroke robot is also provided in the emergency departments at Overlook, Morristown, Newton and Hackettstown medical centers, as well as at Overlook’s Union Campus, to help diagnose possible stroke patients more quickly. This saves precious minutes, and consequently, more of the patient’s brain function. Through the robotically-controlled camera and monitor system, neurologists can remotely see and communicate with the patient and his or her family, as well as other physicians, the patient’s nurse and the emergency department staff. The remote physicians can also assess medical imaging to assist with a rapid, accurate diagnosis while allowing the on-site care team to administer alteplase/tPA in a timely manner. This year, Chilton Medical Center has seen some of the fastest door to needle times, which aid in preserving brain function and lead to improved patient outcomes.

“The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize Chilton Medical Center for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For more information about the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, visit heart.org.