(HealthDay News) – Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-S) hospitals are more likely than Primary Stroke Center (PSC)-certified hospitals to provide all the recommended guideline-based care for patients, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared patient and hospital characteristics and performance/quality measures for acute ischemic stroke from 1,356 hospitals participating in the GWTG-S program (2010–2012). Hospitals were classified as Performance Achievement Award+ (PAA+)/PSC+ (hospitals, 410; patients, 169,302), PAA+/PSC− (415; 129,454), PAA−/PSC+ (88; 26,386), and PAA−/PSC− (443; 75,565).

The researchers found that patient characteristics were similar by PAA and PSC status but PAA−/PSC− hospitals were more likely to be smaller and non-teaching. PAA+/PSC+ and PAA+/PSC− hospitals had the highest measure conformity, PAA−/PSC+ hospitals had intermediate, and PAA−/PSC− hospitals had lowest for all-or-none care measures. PAA+/PSC+, PAA+/PSC−, and PAA−/PSC+ hospitals had 3.15, 3.23, and 1.72 higher odds for providing all indicated stroke performance measures to patients compared with PAA−/PSC− hospitals, after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics.

“While both PSC certification and GWTG-S PAA recognition identified hospitals providing higher conformity with care measures for patients hospitalized with acute ischemic stroke, PAA recognition was a more robust identifier of hospitals with better performance,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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