Southwest General Hospital

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Southwest General Recognized for Exemplary Care of Stroke and Heart Failure Patients

Kelly Stanford
Marketing Specialist
216-299-7727 (media phone)

Southwest General Recognized for Exemplary Care of Stroke and Heart Failure Patients

Award demonstrates Southwest General’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients

Middleburg Heights, OH (Monday, May 11, 2015) – Southwest General has again earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s prestigious Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Additionally, the hospital was newly recognized on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll-Elite. This award recognizes the hospital’s sustained commitment and success in ensuring that stroke patients receive the most effective treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines- Stroke Quality measures.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite 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 ( tPA), the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously (IV) in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Southwest General earned the award by providing IV tPA in less than 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients. Of the 75 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients who received tPA in less than 60 minutes, at Southwest General, the average time to tPA administration was 43 minutes. These quality measures are designed to help speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our sustained commitment to ensuring patients receive care according to clinical guidelines based on national research, said Robyn Szeles, director, Southwest General’s Heart & Vascular Institute, which includes the Primary Stroke Center. “Southwest General is dedicated to continually improving the quality of stroke care, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps our
multidisciplinary team of clinical experts achieve that goal.”

“We are pleased to recognize Southwest General for its commitment to stroke care, said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, 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 complications such as disability and mortality, 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. Timing is a priority when treating stroke or heart disease, and patients can rest assured they get the appropriate treatment at the right time at Southwest General.


About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospitalbased 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 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit or

About Southwest General

Southwest General is a private, not-for-profit, 350-bed acute care facility located in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Founded in 1920, Southwest General is home to nationally recognized physicians with full access to state-of-the-art technology. Southwest General has a deep commitment to providing personalized care and building a healthy future for the patients, families and communities it serves. For news highlights, events and additional information, visit or