UC Medical Center Receives Award for Care of Stroke Patients

strokeCINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Gold is the highest of three levels of achievement awards; Gold-Plus is an optional advanced level of recognition acknowledging hospitals for consistent compliance with quality measures.

UC Medical Center earned the 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 aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

UC Medical Center also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll designation for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster  tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability. Stroke researchers at UC and UC Health played a leading role in developing and testing tPA.

“Our team at UC Health and UC Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said Dawn Kleindorfer, MD, a UC Health neurologist, professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine at the UC College of Medicine, co-director of the UC Stroke Team and member of the UC Neuroscience Institute, a partnership of the College of Medicine and UC Health.

“This award is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our caregivers,” Kleindorfer added. “Our team prides itself on providing the best possible care for stroke patients in Greater Cincinnati and beyond.”

“We are pleased to recognize UC Medical Center for its commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak Bhatt, MD, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

“Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care,” added Bhatt, who is also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth-leading 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.

In 2013, UC Medical Center was certified by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, a new level of certification reserved for institutions with specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases. There is no higher stroke certification.

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