Press Release

For Immediate Release
Feb 5, 2016
Contact : Donna Sellmann, Public Relations Manager  
732-840-3279
DSellmann@meridianhealth.com

Meridian’s Five Hospitals Receive American Heart Association’s 2015 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement Award

Award demonstrates commitment to quality care for stroke patients  

Neptune, NJ - Meridian Health has received the 2015 Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association for the stroke programs at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, and Riverview Medical Center. Additionally, Bayshore Community Hospital and Southern Ocean Medical Center have received the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The Get With The Guidelines awards recognize the facilities’ commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” says Stephen Martino, M.D., medical director of Meridian’s Stroke Programs. “It validates our efforts and the exceptional work being done by the dedicated stroke teams at each hospital campus.”

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps Meridian’s team members 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.

“Stroke care is a key area of focus at Meridian Neuroscience, with special emphasis on timely diagnosis, treatment and recovery,” says Dr. Martino. Our commitment to provide exceptional resources is demonstrated by Meridian being home to five nationally accredited Primary Stroke Centers at all the hospital campuses, each having specialized teams of stroke experts prepared to stop the advance of a stroke.” Additionally, the Meridian Transfer Center connects patients to the region's only Stroke Rescue Center at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where nationally renowned neurosurgeons perform groundbreaking stroke rescue procedures.

For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall health care costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize all of Meridian’s hospitals for their commitment 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 length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five 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 Meridian Health

Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home care and hospice services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, fitness and wellness centers, and outpatient centers that allow the full continuum of health care services to be offered locally. In May 2015, Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network signed a definitive agreement to merge. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in NJ for clinical quality and nationally is the recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum. Meridian is one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for six consecutive years. Earlier in 2015, Great Place to Work® and Fortune recognized Meridian Health as one of the 20 Best Workplaces in Health Care in the nation and the number one Best Place to Work for Women. Meridian is recognized for patient care and nursing excellence, including being the first health system in the country to achieve Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center at all of its original hospitals. Additionally, Meridian’s mission of training the next generation of health care professionals is vital to providing a foundation for sound health in our community. In 2008, Meridian Health launched a four-year nursing program in partnership with Georgian Court University. Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine has also honored Meridian as one of the nation’s 100 Most Wired Health Systems for 16 consecutive years. Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies. For more information, visit www.MeridianHealth.com.

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 heart.org/quality.