University of Louisville Hospital Receives Highest Quality Award for Stroke Care


KentuckyOne Health - Louisville Market

University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, all part of KentuckyOne Health, have again received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Awards. University of Louisville Hospital received the Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award; Jewish Hospital and Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital each received the Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award.

This is the ninth consecutive time University of Louisville Hospital, a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, has been awarded the highest honor from the AHA/ASA. The program received its first Gold Award in 2007, the highest AHA/ASA stroke award at that time, and was one of the first hospitals in the nation to accomplish that.  

“At University [of Louisville] Hospital, we are dedicated to improving the quality of health care for stroke patients, and the AHA/ASA’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program helps us achieve that goal,” said Kerri Remmel, MD, PhD, director of the University of Louisville Hospital stroke program and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care based on internationally-recognized clinical guidelines.”

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines, with the goal of improving recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth 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 aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

University of Louisville Hospital and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital also received the AHA/ASA’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster, tPA; tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“One example of best practices is administering clot-busting drugs. We know this is key to positive stroke outcomes,” said Jennifer Nolan, president, Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. “People who suffer a stroke who receive this treatment within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.”

The national administration rate of tPA typically falls in the 3-5% range. As a comprehensive stroke center, University of Louisville Hospital’s is 20%, which demonstrates the stroke program’s commitment to providing the standard of care where all patient criteria for the medication are met. That number includes patients who received tPA at an outlying facility while consulting with a neurologist at University of Louisville Hospital and were then transferred to University of Louisville Hospital.

“KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care for Kentuckians in every corner of the state, and this honor helps us achieve that goal,” said Joe Gilene, president, Jewish Hospital and downtown Louisville market leader at KentuckyOne Health. “We are committed to ensuring that our patients receive compassionate care based on evidence-based standards.”

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps the facilities’ staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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 provides hospitals with 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 four million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality or heart.org/myhealthcare.