Central Maine Medical Center
My Health LinkFor Healthcare Professionals OnlyFollow UsFacebookTwitterYouTube
300 Main Street, Lewiston, ME 04240 | 207-795-0111

CMMC Earns American Heart Association Award

Central Maine Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes CMMC's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

To receive the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, CMMC achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators and achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures during that same period of time, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

In addition to the Get With The Guideline-Stroke award, CMMC has also been recognized as a recipient of the association's Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital's eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as 'door-to-needle' time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates that our staff is committed to providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols," said Daniel H Bobker, M.D., a neurology hospitalist at CMMC.

"CMMC is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."

CMMC partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011 to bring telestroke capabilities to Lewiston. The program uses streaming video and state-of-the-art scanners to enable Mass General neurologists to diagnose possible stroke patients at CMMC, and advise CMMC physicians if a clot-breaking drug should be administered. The clot-breaking drug, when given within three hours of symptoms, can save some stroke patients from the worst complications of the condition.

CMMC's emergency doctors can consult at any time with a Mass General's neurologist if possible stroke patients or other neurological patients present in the Emergency Department. Neurologists at CMMC can also consult with the Massachusetts General doctors to get a second opinion.

As part of a consultation, patients and their loved ones talk with a Massachusetts General neurologist over live video. The doctor might ask a CMMC nurse or physician to assist with the physical examination.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals' guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

"The time is right for CMMC to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines-Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population," said Bobker.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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 Central Maine Medical Center
Central Maine Medical Center, a tertiary healthcare center located in Lewiston, is Central Maine Healthcare's flagship hospital. CMMC offers a host of sophisticated healthcare services, including cardiac surgery and comprehensive cancer care. CMMC supports a trauma program and LifeFlight of Maine's southern Maine medical helicopter base. With these vital emergency response and critical care transport capabilities, CMMC serves a vast region of Maine. CMMC also supports a number of specialty physician practices, as well as specialized nursing units, including a dedicated physical rehabilitation unit, oncology nursing, and a new state-of-the-art intensive care facility. In May 2011 CMMC partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital's Telestroke program. The service allows for around-the-clock access to neurology consults for patients presenting with stroke symptoms. For more information, visit www.cmmc.org

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality