Health System Earns Top Stroke Care Honor

2019 Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus

August 02, 2019

Kansas City, Kan. — Once again, The University of Kansas Health System's stroke program – the region's largest – received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke GOLD PLUS achievement award. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most efficient and appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

The stroke team 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 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 and schedule a follow-up visit.

"Our health system and team are deeply committed to raising the bar on stroke care to give our patients the best possible outcomes," says stroke neurologist Colleen Lechtenberg, MD, medical director of the stroke program. "We combine world-class expertise, technology, resources and training to recognize and treat stroke as quickly and effectively as possible. We hope recognition like this gives our patients and their loved ones great confidence in the care they receive here."

Our hospital additionally received the association's Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus 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.

Our health system and team are deeply committed to raising the bar on stroke care to give our patients the best possible outcomes. We combine world-class expertise, technology, resources and training to recognize and treat stroke as quickly and effectively as possible. We hope recognition like this gives our patients and their loved ones great confidence in the care they receive here. – Colleen Lechtenberg, MD

Stroke program, medical director

"We are pleased to recognize The University of Kansas Health System for its commitment to stroke care," says Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of neurology and director of acute stroke services, Massachusetts General Hospital. "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 United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, while nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. The University of Kansas Health System strives to provide top-quality care to reduce stroke death and disability.

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