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Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Sugar Land, TX - 1/3/2014

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

Kate Simpson, American Stroke Association; Dr. Eddie Patton, Jr., Neurologist; Dr. James Ling, Medical Director of the Stroke Program; Maria Socci, Stroke Program Manager; Dr. Larry Tran, Neurologist; Dr. M. Faisal Khan, Neurologist.Kate Simpson, American Stroke Association; Dr. Eddie Patton, Jr., Neurologist; Dr. James Ling, Medical Director of the Stroke Program; Maria Socci, Stroke Program Manager; Dr. Larry Tran, Neurologist; Dr. M. Faisal Khan, Neurologist.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care and addressing the important element of time,” said James Ling, M.D., Medical Director of the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Stroke Program.

“We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,” said Maria Socci, Manager, Stroke Program. Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

To receive the award, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital achieved an 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with 6 of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

In addition to the Get With The Guideline-Stroke award, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

“Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., 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 full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

“The time is right for Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Janet Leatherwood, Chief Nursing Officer at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

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.

For a physician referral, please call Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s physician referral line 281.274.7500, or visit houstonmethodist.org/sugarland.

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.