USA Health University Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Published Jul 19th, 2019

By Lindsay Mott
lmott@health.southalabama.edu


USA Health University Hospital
has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

University Hospital 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. To meet standards, before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“The foresight and support of the USA Health administration, along with the hard work of all the stakeholders in the stroke service, have enabled us to achieve the Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award for the fourth year in a row,” said Dr. Steve Cordina, associate professor of neurology at USA Health College of Medicine, who also serves as program director of USA Health’s stroke program. “Since the award level was introduced in 2016, USA Health University Hospital is the only hospital in the state to receive this award for four consecutive years. University Hospital is also one of only three hospitals in Alabama to reach this level in 2019. These awards illustrate the level and quality of care our patients receive at University Hospital, providing stroke survivors with the best possible outcomes.”

In addition, University Hospital received the AHA’s Target: StrokeSM 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.

“We are very proud to be at the forefront of stroke care in our region and are committed to best practices and cutting edge therapies to maintain our position as the premier neurosciences center in the Gulf Coast,” Cordina said.


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.

“We are pleased to recognize USA Health University Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee who also serves as the executive vice chair of neurology and director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. “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.”

About USA Health University Hospital

USA Health University Hospital is an acute care facility serving as the major referral center for southwest Alabama, southeast Mississippi and portions of northwest Florida. We offer centers for Level I trauma, burn, stroke, cardiovascular disease and sickle cell disease. As a teaching and research facility for the USA Health College of Medicine, University Hospital plays a key role in the development of new technology, treatments and training of future healthcare professionals. The hospital also includes outpatient care services such as cardiology, medicine and surgery.

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.

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