Newton Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Newton Medical Center earned the award 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 aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.      

 Newton Medical Center also received the association’s Target: Stroke™ Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.

 

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“Newton Medical Center is dedicated to ensuring that our community has access to the highest quality cardiovascular and stroke care available. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s "Get With The Guidelines" program for treating Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said Joe DiPaolo, president, Newton Medical Center and vice president, Atlantic Health System. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to delivering emergency care based on these internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”

 Newton Medical Center is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health. Newton Medical Center’s interdisciplinary team of emergency specialists are equipped to treat ischemic stroke with tPA, an enzyme that dissolves blood clots.

In addition to the team on site at the hospital, Newton Medical Center’s telemedicine robot, TESS (Telemedicine Electronic Stroke System), allows neurologists off-site to assess patients remotely via a computer within minutes. Using TESS allows the highly-trained physicians and staff at the hospital to begin treatment much sooner, even from the time of the patient’s arrival at the hospital, thus saving precious time, and consequently, more of the patient’s brain. Through the state-of-the-art, robotically controlled camera and monitor system, the neurologist can see and communicate with the patient and family, as well as other neurologists, the patient’s nurse and Emergency Department physicians and staff. The “remote” physicians can also assess medical imaging to assist with a rapid, accurate diagnosis.

 

Most strokes can be treated with tPA, but when other interventions are necessary, the patient can be immediately transferred to the Comprehensive Stroke Centers at Newton Medical’s sister hospitals, Morristown and Overlook medical centers.

 

Following treatment for a stroke, Newton Medical Center’s physical, occupational and speech therapy staff can provide rehabilitation for patients close to home at the hospital.

 “We are pleased to recognize Newton Medical Center for its commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ lengths of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps Newton Medical Center’s staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Newton Medical Center’s staff can provide customized patient education materials upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.      

 According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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 Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines.  Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 4 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality or heart.org/myhealthcare.

 About Newton Medical Center

Newton Medical Center has been providing care to the community since 1932 and serves the people of Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey, Pike County in Pennsylvania and southern Orange County in New York.  Part of Atlantic Health System (atlantichealth.org), we are a trusted regional resource and a community-focused health care provider dedicated to quality and innovative service. In 2014, Newton Medical Center was named Top Hospital overall in New Jersey and No. 1 for treatment of breast cancers among hospitals with 350 beds or fewer by Inside Jersey magazine partnered with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. It was also highly ranked for treatment of congestive heart failure; stroke; hip and knee repair; high risk pregnancy; prostate cancer; and neurological disorders.

Newton Medical Center received the Outstanding Achievement Award and Three-Year Approval with Commendation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The hospital is one of a select few health care facilities in New Jersey to be accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in all three of the following echocardiography procedures:  adult transthoracic, adult transesophogeal and adult stress. Newton Medical Center also operates Milford Health & Wellness, Sparta Health & Wellness, and Vernon Health & Wellness. Newton Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.