Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Adventist HealthCare Recognized for Delivering High-Quality Stroke Care

Washington Adventist Hospital and Shady Grove Medical Center earn awards for providing community with the highest standard of rapid, life-saving stroke care.

Story by Danielle Lewald

Stroke Award Photo for Adventist HealthCareAdventist HealthCare's Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md., and Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville, Md., each have received two awards from the American Heart Association (AHA) for life-saving, high-quality stroke care.

Both hospitals earned "Gold Plus Quality Achievement," which recognizes them for aggressively treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to the core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 12 consecutive months. In addition, both hospitals demonstrated 75 percent compliance with seven out of 10 stroke quality measures during the 12-month period. Fast evaluation and treatment of stroke patients is crucial to prevent serious brain damage and allows for optimal outcomes.

“Shady Grove Medical Center is honored to receive this recognition from the American Heart Association for the sixth year in a row,” says Kevin Smothers, M.D., chief medical officer. “This national achievement recognizes our stroke team’s long-standing commitment to providing high- quality care and life-saving treatment to our patients.”

Both Shady Grove Medical Center and Washington Adventist Hospital have acute stroke units, integrated emergency response systems and multidisciplinary stroke teams including neurologists, surgeons, emergency department physicians, nurses and a stroke program coordinator who ensures constant coordination of care among the various stroke program team members.

“Washington Adventist Hospital is dedicated to helping our patients achieve the best possible outcomes,” says Randall Wagner, M.D., chief medical officer. “This award is a testament to the hard work of our stroke teams to ensure our patients receive the highest level of quality care.”

The second award, AHA’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, is a new award this year reserved for hospitals that reach the most rigorous standards in stroke treatment. This achievement honors both hospitals for their door-to-needle times, which is the time between when a patient arrives at the hospital and when they receive anti-clotting medication. Providing this medication quickly can reduce long-term damage and increase the chances of a full recovery. The Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, the highest level awarded, recognizes the stroke teams for having door-to-needle times of 60 minutes or less in at least 75 percent of stroke patients and 45 minutes or less in at least 50 percent of stroke patients.

“At Washington Adventist Hospital, our stroke team is committed to providing expertise in fast evaluation and treatment of stroke patients,” says Amir Zangiabadi, M.D., director of the Stroke Program and neurologist. “This helps to prevent serious brain damage and save lives at a time when minutes matter the most.”

“Shady Grove Medical Center’s stroke team works together to deliver a coordinated approach to stroke care that ensures the delivery of rapid, life-saving treatment to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients,” says Perry Smith, M.D., neurologist.

To qualify for the AHA’s stroke achievement awards hospitals must meet certain criteria in their care of patients. These include ensuring that a high percentage of acute stroke patients who arrive at the hospital within two hours of the onset of stroke symptoms receive clot dissolving medication within three hours. In addition, the hospitals must ensure that patients who smoke receive smoking cessation advice or medication at discharge. Quality measures include stroke education and rehabilitation programs.

Drs. Smith and Zangiabadi are part of the neurology hospitalist program at Adventist HealthCare hospitals. The program provides around-the-clock neurology care to patients suffering from a stroke or other neurological condition. Both Shady Grove Medical Center and Washington Adventist Hospital are designated Primary Stroke Centers by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). As Primary Stroke Centers, the hospitals have measures in place that allow for a streamlined, coordinated approach to caring for stroke patients.

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