Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Mercy Medical Center Recognized for Commitment to Quality Stroke Care

MercyMedical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll. 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, 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. Mercy 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 quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Mercy Medical Center has also received two prestigious awards from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded quality improvement collaborative administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) that supports Primary Stroke Service hospitals. Mercy has received the organization's Defect-free Care Award and the Dysphagia Screening greater than or equal to 90% Award.

Defect-free care is achieved when a patient receives the appropriate care based on clinical guidelines. The Coverdell Defect-free Care Award recognizes hospitals that, from the period of January to December 2016, provided defect-free care to 90 percent or more of their stroke patients by utilizing all of the interventions for which each patient was eligible. The number of Coverdell hospitals providing defect-free care to the majority of their patients has increased significantly over the last 6 years, resulting in many more patients receiving high-quality care.

The Coverdell Stroke Program's Dysphagia Screening greater than or equal to 90% Award recognizes hospitals that complete dysphagia screening on at least 90% of stroke patients from January 2016 - December 2016.

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the Commonwealth, and a leading cause of adult disability. Immediate assessment and treatment is critical to help improve outcomes.

Knowing the key signs and symptoms of stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately can save a life. The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember:  

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
  • Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
  • Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
  • Time: If you observe these symptoms, call 9-1-1

For more information the Massachusetts Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program, or about FAST and the DPH stroke awareness campaign, please visit:


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