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Capital Health Earns National Recognition for Excellence in Stroke Care

Capital  Health Get With The Guidelines Stroke Care AwardCapital Health Regional Medical Center (RMC) and Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell have both received the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Get with The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award. This award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. 

Capital Health Regional Medical Center also received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite award. To qualify for these recognitions, 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. 

Capital Health’s hospitals earned these awards 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 also receive education on managing their health and have a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Capital Health is committed to improving patient care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines,” said Dr. Dustin Rochestie, director of the Stroke Program and director of Neurology and Neuro Critical Care at Capital Institute for Neurosciences. “Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, which studies show can help patients recover better. The end goal is to ensure more people in Central New Jersey and Lower Bucks County can experience longer, healthier lives.” 

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times. Get with the Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist health care professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients. 

Each year program, participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, clinicians from Capital Institute for Neurosciences also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Capital Health for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Dr. Steven Messe, chairperson of the Stroke System of Care Advisory Group. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for health care systems, families and communities.”

Additionally, Capital Health Regional Medical Center and Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell each received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. Hospitals that qualify for this recognition ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

Capital Health Regional Medical Center, located in Trenton, New Jersey, is the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in the region certified by The Joint Commission, and one of only nine such hospitals in New Jersey. As part of Capital Health’s Capital Institute for Neurosciences, it is available for patients who require the most advanced treatments for neurovascular and stroke care including neuro endovascular, neurosurgical and stroke services. In addition, Capital Health operates an innovative Mobile Stroke Unit, designed to bring time-critical stroke care to patients at their home, or wherever it is dispatched to assess them. Capital Health’s Mobile Stroke Unit was the first unit of its kind to be implemented in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or the Delaware Valley and just the seventh in the United States.

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs and symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately. To learn more about Capital Health’s commitment to providing advanced care for stroke patients and those with other complex disorders of the brain and spine, visit capitalneuro.org