St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) has been honored by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for its exceptional work in stroke care by earning several Get with The Guidelines (GWTG) awards.
GWTG awards recognize the St. Luke’s network’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem and St. Luke’s Warren Campus in Phillipsburg, NJ, received the highest GWTG designation, earning the Stroke Gold Plus & Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award.
Other St. Luke’s hospitals honored with a Get with the Guidelines award are:
- St. Luke’s Monroe Campus – GWTG Stroke Silver & Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award
- St. Luke’s Anderson Campus – GWTG Stroke Gold Plus & Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award
- St. Luke’s Quakertown Campus – GWTG Stroke Gold Plus & Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award
- St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus – GWTG Stroke Gold Plus Award
“These awards are not just nice honors, they are a recognition of how each individual hospital performs for its community,” says Daniel Ackerman, M.D., Vice Chair, Department of Neurology, Director of Stroke and Vascular Neurology at St. Luke’s University Health Network.
“As a network, we are committed at each of our facilities to provide the best in stroke care to every patient, every time, and it shows. The network is specifically designed so that each patient encounter for stroke is met with the same level of expertise, from our largest and busiest hospitals to our smallest local community center.”
St. Luke’s earned the awards by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures 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.
Following is an explanation of the awards won by St. Luke’s hospitals:
- Gold Plus Recognition - Hospitals receiving the Gold Plus Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for two consecutive calendar years. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance to four out of 10 heart failure quality measures or seven out of 10 stroke quality measures during the 12-month period.
- Silver Recognition - Hospitals receiving the Silver Performance Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for one calendar year.
- Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus - Hospitals achieving Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy less than or equal to 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV alteplase AND door-to-needle time. Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy within 45 minutes in 50 percent of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV alteplase to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.
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.
“We know that stroke is a team sport, and as with any complicated process, it really takes buy-in from everyone involved,” explains Dr. Ackerman.
“Stroke care does not start at the hospital; it really starts at home when families or friends recognize symptoms, so we take every opportunity to provide community education. At the level of our hospitals, everyone is involved. From the emergency department providers, to the nursing staff, our radiology technologists and physicians, and our amazing registrars… all of them are an integral part of providing the kind of rapid and coordinated effort that has earned us top honors as a stroke team.
“We have also taken the wonderful opportunity to partner with our local EMS corps. The EMS and first responders in our region are often the first medical personnel who see a patient and can identify that they are having a stroke.”
About St. Luke’s
Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus. It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows. St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital. In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals. St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program. Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.