Albany Medical Center is Nationally Recognized for its Commitment to Providing High-quality Stroke Care

The American Heart Association presents Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus award for proven dedication to ensuring all stroke patients have access to best practices and lifesaving care

Albany Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award for its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability, and accelerating recovery times.

Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines - Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

“Albany Medical Center is committed to improving patient care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines,” said Colum Amory, MD, MPH, professor of Neurology, vice chair of the Department of Neurology, and division chief of Vascular Neurology at Albany Medical Center. “Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, which studies show can help patients recover better. The end goal is to ensure more people in our region can experience longer, healthier lives.”

Each year, program participants qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get With The Guidelines participants also educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Albany Medical Center for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Steven Messe, MD, volunteer chairperson of the American Heart Association Stroke System of Care Advisory Group and professor of neurology and director of fellowships of neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for health care systems, families and communities.”

Albany Medical Center also received the American Heart Association’s Target: Stroke Honor Target: Stroke Elite award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet specific criteria that reduce the time between an eligible patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster alteplase.

Albany Medical Center also received the American Heart Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. Target: Type 2 Diabetes aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

Albany Medical Center also met specific scientific guidelines as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

The stroke team is ready 24/7 to provide patients with cutting-edge treatments they need to improve their chances of a successful recovery. The stroke team is led by physicians and nurses with specialized training in diagnosis and treatment of stroke. Using the latest treatment options ranging from injections of “clot busting” drugs to clot removal devices that are used to reopen blocked blood vessels, the stroke team has advanced treatment for stroke immediately and up to eight hours after the onset of symptoms.

Albany Medical Center also received the American Heart Association’s Heart Failure Gold Plus award, announced separately this week.