Iredell News

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Iredell Health System Receives American Heart Association’s Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award Three Years In A Row

(Statesville, NC – October 7, 2014) – Iredell Health System has received the Get With The Guidelines ® –Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes Iredell Health System's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

This marks the third year that Iredell Health System has been recognized with the Stroke Gold Plus Award.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps Iredell Health System staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives.

"Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. "The Iredell Health System team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients."

Following Get With The Guidelines-Stroke treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

"Iredell Health System is dedicated to making our care for stroke patients among the best in the country," said Celeste Stevens, RN, BSN, PCCN, cardiovascular clinician and certification coordinator at Iredell Health System. "The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program helps us to accomplish this goal. This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we're very proud of our team."

Iredell Health System's stroke program is also certified as a "Primary Stroke Center"

by the Joint Commission. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization's commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, 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.

About Iredell Health System

Iredell Health System includes Iredell Memorial Hospital, Iredell Home Health, a certified diabetes program, Iredell Wound and Hyperbaric Center, Corporate Wellness; and the Iredell Physician Network. Iredell Memorial Hospital is the largest and only non-profit hospital in Iredell County. The comprehensive healthcare facility has 247-beds; employees close to 1,500 employees; and has 260 physicians representing various specialties. Centers of excellence include Women's and Children's; Cardiovascular; Cancer; Surgical Services and Wellness & Prevention. For a comprehensive list of services and programs, visit

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines ® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit

Categories: Awards