Southcoast Health Hospitals Honored For Exceptional Stroke Care

Commitment to quality improvement ensures stroke patients receive better care.

Southcoast Health is pleased to announce that all three of its hospitals  – Charlton Memorial in Fall River, St. Luke’s in New Bedford, and Tobey in Wareham – recently received awards for excellence in stroke care. Each hospital was designated a Primary Stroke Center by the American Heart Association in 2005 and has been recognized for quality care numerous times.

Tobey received two awards, including the Coverdell Defect-free Care Award, which recognizes hospitals that provided defect-free care to 90 percent or more of their stroke patients by using all the interventions for which the patient was eligible based on clinical guidelines.

Tobey and St. Luke’s were both recognized for screening 90 percent or more of their stroke patients for dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing after a stroke. The awards were for the period covering January to December 2017.

St. Luke’s also received the Get With The Guidelines® Silver Plus Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association®. Hospitals receiving the silver plus award have reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of stroke care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for one calendar year. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance or higher with additional stroke quality measures.

Charlton Memorial received the Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Achievement Award. from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association®. Hospitals receiving the gold plus award have reached the same aggressive goals of 85 percent or higher in adherence to stroke quality measures for two consecutive years or more in addition to demonstrating 75 percent compliance to seven out of 10 stroke quality measures.

“We at Southcoast Health are immensely proud of the hard work and passion of our clinical leaders and staff at Charlton Memorial, St. Luke’s and Tobey, who ensure that our stroke patients get all the medical attention they need for the best possible outcome from a stroke,” said Keith Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health. “Their commitment to excellent care for all our patients led to these prestigious awards.”

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the Commonwealth, and a leading cause of adult disability. Immediate assessment and treatment is critical to help improve outcomes.

Knowing the key signs and symptoms of stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately can save a life. The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember:

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
  • Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
  • Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
  • Time: If you observe these symptoms, call 9-1-1

For more information the Massachusetts Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program, or about FAST and the DPH stroke awareness campaign, here: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health designated Tobey and St. Luke’s hospitals as Primary Stroke Service hospitals in 2005.