Lifespan hospitals honored for excellence in stroke care

August 13, 2020

Three Lifespan hospitals – Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital – have received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

The hospitals earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients including 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. 

Rhode Island Hospital was additionally recognized with the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Advanced Therapy designation. 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.  Also, “door to device times” must occur within 90 minutes for direct arriving patients and within 60 minutes for transfers (for at least 50% of applicable patients).

“Our  staff who care for stroke patients are part of a highly skilled, specialized team trained to provide rapid assessment and treatment for the acute stroke patient,” said Jo-Ann Sarafin, MS, APRN, CNP, FNP-BC, SCRN, stroke program manager for Rhode Island Hospital. “It takes quick recognition of stroke in the community, including astute assessment by EMS with appropriate knowledge of stroke triage protocols. It entails efficient management in the Emergency Department encompassing clinical assessment, imaging, and state-of-the-art treatment in Neurointerventional radiology if indicated.  It involves frequent monitoring, education, early rehabilitation and support to assist the stroke patient in achieving the best possible outcome. We are honored to receive this award reflecting on the entire spectrum of stroke care we provide, allowing as many patients as possible to regain their best quality of life.”

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

“This is wonderful news. It takes a team to be able to achieve these awards and it’s due to the efforts of everyone across the hospital — nurses, doctors, rehabilitation specialists, and more. It’s exciting that Newport Hospital earned the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Award in the first year it was available,” said Karen Schaefer, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, ASC-BC, stroke program manager for Newport Hospital and The Miriam Hospital.

She added, “I’m equally proud of The Miriam Hospital, where the staff and our Stroke Committee have continued to make consistent progress at raising awareness throughout the hospital of best practices and continuously improving our results.”

Newport Hospital and The Miriam Hospital have met specific criteria to each be designated as a Primary Stroke Center while the Rhode Island Hospital is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Primary Stroke Centers are equipped to stabilize and provide emergency care for patients with acute stroke, and Comprehensive Stroke Centers can provide more specialized care for patients with complex strokes.

“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,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital.

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.

Richard Salit

Senior Public Relations Officer
The Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital, Gateway Healthcare