Norwalk Hospital received the 2011 John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare Through the Use of Data for achieving exceptional stroke outcomes through effective data collection, analysis, and action during the Connecticut Hospital Association 93rd Annual Meeting June 23.

This prestigious award, presented by CHA for the past 18 years, recognizes a hospital for excellence and improvement in patient care through the use of data. It honors Yale Professor John D. Thompson for his distinguished contributions as an educator and researcher in health administration, including his pioneering work in developing the Medicare payment system.

Norwalk Hospital began collecting and analyzing data on the measures for achieving excellence in stroke care in 2008. Based on their analyses, the Norwalk Hospital team focused on two measures for improvement. The first was the timely and appropriate administration of tissue plasminogen activator, a clot-busting drug, which, if given promptly, can significantly reduce the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

The second measure was improving compliance with a swallowing screen to determine the patient's ability to appropriately swallow, prior to any oral intake.

The hospital increased the use of tPA through the implementation of computerized physician order sets for stroke patients and modifying a checklist used when treating acute stroke patients. The team significantly improved swallow screen compliance by adding a computer screen pop-up to remind the staff about this important screening step. In addition, Norwalk Hospital implemented an Acute Care Stroke Team to provide active oversight of all aspects of a stroke patient's care.

As a result of these initiatives, Norwalk Hospital has improved patient outcomes, in particular achieving a significantly lower mortality rate. Thanks to a comprehensive strategy and committed multi-disciplinary team, Norwalk Hospital has achieved exceptional stroke care outcomes.

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The Connecticut Hospital Association has been dedicated to serving Connecticut's hospitals since 1919. Through state and federal advocacy, CHA represents the interests of Connecticut's not-for-profit hospitals on key healthcare issues in the areas of quality and patient safety, access and coverage, workforce, public health, and hospital reimbursement.