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Stroke Center Makes Honor Roll for Fast, Quality Care

Augusta, GA

Augusta, Ga. – The Primary Stroke Center at Georgia Regents Medical Center has been named to the Target: Stroke Honor Roll by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for excellence in emergency stroke care.

“When it comes to stroke, time is brain. Treatment within the first three hours – the golden window for stroke – is critical to saving the millions of neurons vital for human function,” said Dr. David Hess, Medical Director of the Primary Stroke Center and Chair of Neurology at Georgia Regents University. GRMC is currently one of only about a dozen hospitals in Georgia to make the Target Stroke Honor Roll, making it among the fastest in the nation for life-saving care.

Hospital measures include aggressive use of the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator, commonly known as tPA, and a fast-track protocol to diagnose and treat stroke within a 60-minute window. The multidisciplinary stroke team includes physicians, nurses and staff from emergency, neurology, radiology, pathology and other specialists who work together in a seamless process. Target Stroke Honor Roll recognizes hospitals that treat at least half of eligible patients with tPA within an hour of their arrival to the emergency department.

In addition, GRMC earned the AHA/ASA Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the second consecutive year for achieving 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Achievement Indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 stroke quality measures during the same time period.

These measures include tPA use, anticoagulation therapy, cholesterol-lowering drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Studies have shown that patients who are taught to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital are less likely to have another stroke.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. Georgia Regents Medical Center, located in the heart of the Stroke Belt, is designated as a Primary Care Stroke Center by the Georgia Department of Public Health Office of EMS and Trauma and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations

Patients in rural Georgia hospitals have fast access to quality stroke care at GRMC through REACH Health, Inc., a telemedicine program pioneered at GRU’s Medical College of Georgia that allows neurologists to diagnose and treat stroke patients remotely. Hospitals in partnership with GRMC for remote stroke care include Burke Medical Center, Coliseum Medical Centers, Elbert Memorial Hospital, Emanuel Medical Center, Fairview Park Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Jenkins County Hospital, McDuffie Regional Medical Center, Morgan Memorial Hospital, Palmyra Medical Center, St. Mary's Hospital, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, Tift Regional Medical Center, Ty Cobb Memorial Hospital, Washington County Regional Medical Center, West Georgia Hospital and Wills Memorial Hospital.

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