LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2013) - UK HealthCare's Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) Stroke Program has once again received the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.
The award recognizes the program's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.
This marks the third year the program has been recognized with a quality achievement award.
To receive the award, a hospital must achieve at least 85 percent adherence to all "Get With The Guidelines" stroke quality achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals, and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with at least six of 10 stroke quality measures. These measures include appropriate use of life-saving medications and lifestyle/behavior modifications, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
“The UK HealthCare KNI Stroke Program is dedicated to making our care for stroke patients among the best in the country," said Dr. Michael Dobbs, interim chair of the Department of Neurology and the director of the Stroke Care Network. "With a stroke, time lost is brain lost. The Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality achievement Award demonstrates our commitment to being among the top health care providers in the country for aggressive, proven stroke care."
Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps the UK HealthCare KNI Stroke Program’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.
The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives.
“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The UK HealthCare KNI Stroke Program team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”
Following Get With The Guidelines-Stroke treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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.
About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.