June 19, 2019
University of Missouri Health Care’s stroke team has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the eighth consecutive year.
The award recognizes MU Health Care’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. It’s the latest 2019 honor for the MU Health Care Stroke Team, which recently became the first and only institution in mid-Missouri to earn the Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from DNV GL Healthcare, reflecting the highest level of expertise for treatment of serious stroke events. MU Health Care is also designated one of the state’s first Level I Missouri State Time Critical Diagnosis Centers, the highest recognition for a stroke program.
“This is continued commitment to quality improvement with the stroke program,” said Brandi French, MD, associate professor of clinical and vascular neurology and medical director of the inpatient neurosciences unit and the Missouri stroke program. “We hold ourselves to a high national standard and we measure ourselves every year on the basis of these awards. This is a way to compare ourselves to other institutions in the community.”
MU Health Care earned the AHA/ASA Gold Plus award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.
MU Health Care additionally received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll award. To qualify for this 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, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
“We are pleased to recognize MU Health Care for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, MD, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.