Clinical Neurosciences Center

CNC Receives Gold Performance Achievement Award

U Stroke Center Recognized Nationally for Care Center earns American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award

Stroke AwardCenter recently received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes the University of Utah’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment for at least 24 months according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

The University of Utah Hospital was the only hospital in Utah to receive this prestigious recognition. According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke—500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTG–Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time,” said Dr. Elaine Skalabrin, Director of the Stroke Center and a neurologist at the U’s Clinical Neurosciences Center. University 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 GWTG-Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award, University Hospital demonstrated 85% or better adherence in the GWTG–Stroke key measures for 24 or more consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation.

“The American Stroke Association commends University Hospital for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H.Schwamm, M.D., national Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee Member and director of the 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.”

GWTG–Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their riskfactors while still in the hospital reducetheir risk of a second heart attack orstroke. Through GWTG–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the GWTG Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The Stroke Center’s goal is to provide the best care available in the shortest timeline possible, and implementing GWTG–Stroke has been a part of our process. The number of acute is chemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Dr. Skalabrin.