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Published:  March 20, 2012

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Stroke Team Leads the Way in Stroke Care Receiving Highest Honors from American Stroke Association

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital’s (St. Luke’s) Stroke and Neurocritical Care Team received the highest honors at the American Heart Association’s 2012 International Stroke Conference.

A Primary Stroke Certified hospital and international stroke care leader, St. Luke’s was awarded the American Stroke Association’s 2011 Gold Achievement and Target: Stroke Honor Roll awards, which are given together to fewer than 150 hospitals across the country. St. Luke’s was the only hospital in the Texas Medical Center and the only 600-plus bed hospital in the Greater Houston area to receive the honor.

To receive the Gold Plus Achievement Award, St. Luke’s adhered to 85 percent or higher of all American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals. St. Luke’s achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six 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.

St. Luke’s also received the American Stroke Association’s Target Stroke Honor Roll honor for improving stroke care. During the time targeted, a staggering 75 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). The average ‘door-to-needle’ time among all hospitals participating in the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures program is 32 percent. 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 4.5 hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability. According to the American Stroke Association, the national average time from a patient’s emergency department entrance to the reading of a CT scan is 45 minutes, while the St. Luke’s average time is only 17 minutes.

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