Published on July 23, 2019

Reading Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines-Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Quality Achievement Award

American Heart Association Award recognizes Reading Hospital's commitment to quality stroke care

West Reading, Pa., July 17, 2019 - Reading Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the 13th consecutive year. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Reading Hospital 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 evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

"Reading Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative. Our teams are also expanding beyond the Guidelines initiatives to include innovative use of technology and telehealth," said Gregory Sorensen, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Reading Hospital and Tower Health. "We are pleased that the dedication of our team and their continued patient care improvements are recognized by the American Heart Association."

Reading Hospital additionally received the association's Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient's arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

"We are pleased to recognize Reading Hospital for their commitment to stroke care," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. "Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates."

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Reading Hospital neurologists and patient, Philip Grillo Jr., are available to discuss the importance of initiating lifesaving stroke care and the benefits of calling 9-1-1 with media.

About Reading Hospital 

Reading Hospital is the flagship, Magnet Recognized, acute care hospital of Tower Health. Located in West Reading, Pa., Reading Hospital is a 714-bed hospital that is home to many top-tier specialty care centers, including Reading HealthPlex, McGlinn Cancer Institute, Miller Regional Heart Center, Emergency Department, Level I Trauma Center and Beginnings Maternity Center, which houses the region's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With more than 1,000 physicians and providers across 46 locations, Reading Hospital has been recognized for its quality outcomes and clinical expertise across services lines. It is listed as one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for three consecutive years and received a 5-Star Rating from CMS. For more information, visit www.towerhealth.org

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 tools and resources to increase adherence to 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 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.