McLaren Flint Only Hospital in Genesee County to Earn all Four Top AHA GWTG Awards for Stroke Care

The American Heart Association presents Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus award for commitment to prioritizing quality care for stroke patients.

Author: Sherry Farney

For a second consecutive year, McLaren Flint is the only Genesee County hospital to receive the four top awards for stroke care from the American Heart Association. These awards fall under the Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Stroke Quality Achievement Award for the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

Stroke is the fifth cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. 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. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability, and speeding recovery times.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist health care professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.

These guidelines include timeliness of treating stroke with medications or endovascular therapy (clot removal), stroke risk factor reduction, and post-stroke rehabilitation. Patients are also educated regarding managing their health after discharge, following up with their physician to monitor their underlying risk factors for stroke, and they are encouraged to participate in continued support for themselves and their families through the McLaren educational series and support group.

“As the region’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, and a hub for advanced stroke treatment for the McLaren Stroke Network, McLaren Flint is dedicated to improving the quality of care for stroke patients from Genesee County and beyond,” said Chris Candela, president and CEO, McLaren Flint. “The guidelines and tools provided by the American Heart Association give our clinicians the resources they need to provide evidence-based care for improved patient outcomes.”

McLaren Flint additionally received the following recognitions:

Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award/ Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy 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.

Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy award. For this award, hospitals successfully treated at least 50% of qualified stroke patients within 90 minutes of arriving directly to their facility and within 60 minutes of arriving by EMS transport.

Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

“We are pleased to recognize McLaren Flint for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, 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.”

In late summer, McLaren Flint has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.