Both Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend have received recognition by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Elkhart General Hospital received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award.

Memorial Hospital received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The two Beacon hospitals earned the awards 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 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.

“Beacon Health System is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said José Luis López, MD, Beacon Health System Stroke Program Medical Director. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Elkhart General and Memorial Hospital additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll 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 acute ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “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/American Stroke 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.