HMH award

Huntsville Memorial Hospital CEO Steve Smith accepts the Gold Plus award as part of the American Heart Association’s and American Stroke Association’s “Get with the Guidelines” program during a ceremony on Tuesday at HMH. The hospital received the recognition for a commitment to quality care for stroke victims in the community.

Huntsville Memorial Hospital received national recognition Tuesday as they were awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment based on the latest scientific evidence.

Huntsville Memorial Hospital earned the award by meeting achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

“This is a chance to shine a spotlight on the positives in our community,” HMH CEO Steve Smith told a large crowd gathered in the main lobby of the hospital. “This award, which is given to hospitals across the country that comply with increased quality measures and have shown consistent improvements in outcomes, is a direct indication of our teams commitment to providing exceptional patient care and the overall progress that we are making as an organization.”

“It is important to remember the progress we are making when issues from the past surface from time to time. As we look towards the future, we must continue to focus our talents and focus on the people that matter the most — our patients.”

The measures for the award 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.

“Huntsville Memorial Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines- Stroke initiative,” said Andrea Jaeger, HMH’s quality and stroke coordinator. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Huntsville Memorial Hospital also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll award for meeting measures to reduce the time between a patient’s arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator.

“We are pleased to recognize Huntsville Memorial Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, national chairman of the Quality Oversight Committee. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

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 U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.