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Allegheny Health Network Hospitals Honored for High-Quality Stroke Care

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Implementation of New RAPID Imaging Platform Drives More Effective Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Brain Injury    

PITTSBURGH – Five Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospitals have received national recognition for their commitment to delivering excellent, evidence-based care for stroke patients. Allegheny General, Forbes, Jefferson, and Saint Vincent hospitals each earned the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award in this year’s American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® achievement awards. West Penn Hospital earned the Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke is a national program intended to improve quality of care and outcomes for stroke patients by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines. Hospitals are recognized with achievement awards for their success in meeting these protocols.  

Together, the five hospitals recognized are components of the AHN Cerebrovascular Center, which provides a full spectrum of medical, surgical and rehabilitative care of patients with stroke. Established in 2016, the Center is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of board-certified stroke neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-endovascular and rehabilitation specialists with expertise in stroke.

“With a team of clinicians who are dedicated to providing high-quality care, and who are equipped with the latest advanced stroke therapies, we are able to treat patients who suffer stroke more effectively than ever before,” said Ashis Tayal, MD, Medical Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at AGH and Director of the AHN Cerebrovascular Center.

“We are grateful for this national recognition by the AHA and ASA as it reflects the success we have achieved in building a stroke program that we believe offers the highest quality of care to those who suffer from this common and often fatal cerebrovascular injury.”    

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 140,000 stroke-related deaths occur in the U.S. each year and the disease is a leading cause of long-term disability. Outcomes from stroke depend in large part on how and when the patient is treated after the injury occurs.

Over the last year, advanced cerebrovascular imaging software known as “RAPID” has been implemented at Allegheny General Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, and at the Advanced Primary Stroke Centers of Forbes Hospital, Jefferson Hospital and Saint Vincent Hospital. Developed at Stanford University, RAPID produces fast, fully-automated, easy-to-interpret brain images that enable physicians to quickly decide if a patient is a candidate for thrombectomy— the mechanical removal of a blood vessel clot. The images are sent to an iPhone or other mobile device within minutes, allowing stroke neurologists to evaluate the images from any location and recommend the best treatment.

“RAPID provides the opportunity to get the patient to the right place and right treatment at the right time. With this advanced capability, we can more expeditiously determine the best course of treatment for patients and provide them with the best possible chance of recovering well from their injury,” said Dr. Tayal.

The AHA/ASA also named AGH and Forbes Hospital to the ‘Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite’ for achieving time to intravenous thrombolytic therapy, in which the clot is dissolved, in one hour or less in 75 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke to improve quality of patient care and outcomes. Saint Vincent Hospital was named to the ‘Target: Stroke Honor Roll’ for achieving time to thrombolytic therapy in one hour or less in 50 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients.

To learn more about stroke care at AHN, visit www.ahn.org/stroke.

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