RWJUH Stroke Center earns national recognition from the American Heart Association

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center on Wednesday said it earned the American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Advanced Therapy with Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll recognition.

New Brunswick’s RWJUH received its first Advanced Certification in Comprehensive Stroke Center in 2013 from TJC. The 2022 certification marks the program’s fifth consecutive recertification and underscores the institution’s commitment to serve its communities with the highest levels of life-saving care.

For stroke patients, this means RWJUH has met quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-busting medications and interventional procedures.

For patients with diabetes, it means that RWJUH has met quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have experienced some form of vascular disease — including heart attack, stroke and heart failure. For patients with conditions that are severe enough to be transported or admitted to a hospital, time is critical.

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline and Get with the Guidelines programs help reduce barriers to prompt treatment for vascular events. As a participant in the Get with the Guidelines program, RWJUH applied for the award recognitions by demonstrating how its organization has committed to improving quality care for patients.

“For our patients and communities, this recognition is evidence of our commitment to constant improvement in our critical interventions for ischemic strokes and in preventing strokes in vulnerable populations such as those who have diabetes,” Bill Arnold, CEO and president of RWJUH, stated. “As an academic medical center and a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, we remain committed to offering patients the most advanced therapies, technologies and expert care to our patients.”

Each year, program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

The Stroke Program underwent a rigorous virtual survey, during which a team from TJC evaluated compliance with national standards, clinical guidelines and outcomes of care for stroke. The virtual visit spanned several areas including the Emergency Department, Radiology, Interventional Radiology, Neurocritical Care Unit, Neurology Intermediate Care Unit and Neurology floor. The program received a “perfect” survey result from the visit, meaning there were no requirements for improvement cited.