Lee Health Hospitals’ Stroke Care Earns Quality Achievement Awards

(Fort Myers, Fla. – May 16, 2017) --- Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital earned the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association’s (ASA) Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes success in implementing evidence-based guidelines and delivering excellent care for stroke patients. Cape Coral Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center were also recognized with Target: Stroke Honor Roll – Elite Plus awards, and Lee Memorial Hospital received the Target: Stroke Honor Roll recognition. These awards acknowledge hospitals’ exceptional performance in administration of clot-busting tPA medication, which significantly reduces disability after stroke.

“We are excited, and proud, that all four of our hospitals received the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award,” says Cindy Drapal, DNP, System Director, Lee Health Neurosciences. “Stroke requires swift treatment because time lost is brain lost. Incorporating evidence-based guidelines into our processes ensures the best treatment is available for our community.”

According to the AHA/ASA, 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.

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke uses the “teachable moment” after a patient has a stroke and when they are most likely to listen to and follow their health care professionals’ guidance. Studies show that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second stroke. Additionally, customized patient education materials are provided at discharge, and are based on each patient’s individual risk profiles.

To receive the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award hospitals must achieve 85% or higher adherence to all guideline indicators and 75% or higher compliance with six of the 10 guideline measures. The Gold level is awarded for 24 consecutive months of performance achievement. These measures include aggressive use of medications, preventative treatments, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation—all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

To receive the Target: Stroke Honor Roll – Elite Plus recognition, hospitals must administer clot-busting medication within 60 minutes of arrival to the facility in 75% or more of eligible acute ischemic strokes and within 45 minutes of arrival in 50% of eligible acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA. The Target: Stroke Honor Roll recognition requires the facility administer tPA within 60 minutes in 50% or more of eligible acute ischemic stroke patients.

Offering 24/7 neurointerventional coverage with a full team of specialists, support staff, a dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit for stroke patients and a dedicated neurointerventional suite equipped with state-of-the-art biplane angiography systems, Gulf Coast Medical Center provides lifesaving care around-the-clock and close to home. Gulf Coast Medical Center also is Lee County’s only certified Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Cape Coral Hospital and Lee Memorial Hospital are Primary Stroke Centers, which means they are recognized nationally for providing state-of-the-art care while focusing on quality, innovation and continual improvement. Drapal says the stroke certification is a voluntary process that has elevated the level of care available in the community.

“Being honored for excellent patient care is the best recognition a hospital can achieve,” Drapal adds. “We will continue to focus on providing care that has been proven to quickly and effectively treat stroke with the best outcomes.”


About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org


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