The New Jersey Comprehensive Stroke Center at University Hospital
The stroke center's mission is to provide a multidisciplinary approach to the prevention of cerebrovascular disease, to diagnose and treat acute stroke, to plan for the continuum of care after stroke, using up-to-date, evidence based management and cutting edge technology, and to be a leader in stroke research.
WHAT IS A COMPREHENSIVE STROKE CENTER?
The New Jersey Comprehensive Stroke Center is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health as a comprehensive stroke center. This means that we have the policies, protocols, personnel, and infrastructure to deliver advanced, state of the art stroke care to complex stroke patients, including endovascular and neurosurgical expertise, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Stroke Center follows clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) recommended by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
WHO DO WE SERVE?
The Stroke Center provides both inpatient and outpatient care to patients with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and TIA. We serve the community from the City of Newark and outlying communities. In 2014, our patients were 61.1% Black or African American, 12.6% White, and 11% Hispanic ethnicity. Our patients are relatively young, with 62% being under age 65, while the average in other NJ hospitals is 34% in this age group.
WHAT SERVICES DO WE PROVIDE?
- Acute stroke treatment 24/7 with a multidisciplinary stroke response team (“BAT Team”)
- Comprehensive diagnostics, including multimodal CT and MRI scans, cerebral angiography, carotid and transcranial ultrasound, and transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography
- Endovascular and neurosurgical specialists available 24/7
- Specialized intensive care unit facilities with physicians and nurses with expertise in intensive care in acute stroke
- Stroke Unit, with multidisciplinary team of stroke specialty trained physicians and nurses, physical/occupational/speech therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists, social workers and case managers
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation services for stroke – inpatient and outpatient
- Stroke outpatient clinics, private offices of stroke and endovascular specialists for continuing care of our patients after discharge
- Coordination of care with specialists including cardiology, vascular surgery, internal medicine
- Community events including stroke fairs and screening, lectures
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL HONORED WITH QUALITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR STROKE CARE
University Hospital 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. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, 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 achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.
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. University Hospital 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 provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Andrea Hidalgo, MD, Director of the New Jersey Comprehensive Stroke Center at University Hospital. “Our hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps us achieve that goal.”
“We are pleased to recognize University Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”
For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.
For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
About Get With The Guidelines®
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality or heart.org/QualityMap.