University Hospitals Earns National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Stroke Treatment

Several hospitals in the University Hospitals (UH) system have been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Awards for their quality stroke care. Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke awards were developed to help healthcare professionals provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.

UH Cleveland Medical Center was the only hospital in Ohio for the second consecutive year to receive all four of the highest awards in 2021.

Fourteen UH hospitals earned awards for quality stroke care, with seven earning a higher level of recognition than the previous year:

Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus 

  • UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • UH Geauga Medical Center
  • Southwest General Hospital (a joint-venture hospital)

Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite

  • UH Ahuja Medical Center
  • UH Elyria Medical Center
  • UH Geneva Medical Center
  • UH Parma Medical Center
  • UH Portage Medical Center
  • UH St. John Medical Center

Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll

  • UH Bedford and Richmond Medical Centers, campuses of UH Regional Hospitals
  • Western Reserve Hospital (a joint-venture hospital)

Stroke Silver Plus Award

  • UH Conneaut Medical Center

Stroke Silver Award

  • UH Samaritan Medical Center

The American Heart Association awards recognize commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

The medical centers earned the Gold Plus award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for 24 consecutive months. 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. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions

UH Conneaut’s Stroke Silver Plus Award recognizes performance of 12 consecutive months.

“All of our stroke teams across the University Hospitals Health System have worked together to deliver the highest quality stroke care in an integrated network that provides care close to home for residents of Northeast Ohio,” said Cathy Sila, MD, Chair of the UH Department of Neurology, and Director of the UH Comprehensive Stroke Center and UH System Stroke Program.  “Stroke is an emergency, and the best outcomes occur when patients are taken to their closest stroke center to start that life-saving treatment. So, it is very important to us that all of our hospitals can deliver that highest quality stroke care. We are honored that our efforts are recognized by the American Heart Association, and that the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke provide proven knowledge and guidelines to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

Target: Stroke Honor Roll

In addition, 11 of the hospitals were placed on the Stroke Honor Roll. UH Cleveland, UH Geauga and Southwest achieved Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus; UH Ahuja, UH Elyria, UH Geneva, UH Parma, UH Portage and UH St. John achieved Stroke Honor Roll Elite; UH Regional Hospitals and Western Reserve received Stroke Honor Roll.

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 ichemic stroke.

UH Cleveland Medical Center also has met specific scientific guidelines as a Comprehensive Stroke Center achieving Target Stroke Advanced Therapy Honor Roll for rapid diagnosis and treatment of severe stroke patients requiring thrombectomy procedure. For this award, hospitals successfully treated at least 50 percent 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

Nine of the hospitals received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90 percent of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.” The hospitals recognized for this award were: UH Ahuja, UH Cleveland, UH Elyria, UH Geauga, UH Parma, UH Portage, UH Regional Hospitals, UH Samaritan, UH St. John, and Western Reserve. 

“We are pleased to recognize University Hospitals 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.”

According to the American Heart 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.

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About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 23 hospitals (including 5 joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.

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 9 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.