COLUMBIA, Mo. — University Hospital has received the Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award from Get With The Guidelines®, a hospital-based quality improvement program developed by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.
“Get With The Guidelines® is really a tool that helps us standardize science-based treatment guidelines to nationally accepted best practices,” said Niranjan Singh, M.D., a neurologist and co-director of University Hospital’s stroke program. “These are the most up-to-date guidelines that address acute stroke management, primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, secondary prevention of strokes and the establishment of primary stroke centers.”
Physicians and staff at University Hospital have incorporated these guidelines into a comprehensive system for rapidly diagnosing and treating stroke when patients are admitted to the emergency department. When patients come to the E.R. with stroke symptoms, they receive brain-imaging scans, evaluations by neurologists and clot-busting medications when appropriate.
“We are very proud to have received this award,” said Pradeep Sahota, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology at University of Missouri Health Care. “It recognizes our commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for our stroke patients.”
To treat stoke patients, University Hospital uses a multidisciplinary team from several different departments including neurology, neurosurgery, physical therapy, cardiology and emergency services.
“In order to identify, diagnose and treat the stroke patient quickly, we work together as a cohesive team once the patient arrives at the hospital,” said Ashish Nanda, M.D., a neurointerventionalist and co-director of University Hospital’s stroke program. “Rapid evaluation and treatment then make the difference, not only between life and death, but also in terms of quality of life.”
Each stroke is unique, but all strokes can produce common physical, behavioral and communication affects that can be lifelong issues.
“The severity of these affects can be directly attributed to the speed with which we diagnose and treat the patient,” said Singh. “Balance, muscular function, speech and personality can all be affected. These changes not only affect the patient, but also their loved ones. So using standardized best practices nationwide is going to make a big difference in a positive way in outcomes for stroke patients.”