Research Medical Center
November 10, 2014

Iftekhar Ahmed, M.D.

Research Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider—has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Research Medical Center earned the award 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 aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

Research Medical Center also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster drug, tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.

“The stroke program at Research Medical Center continues to treat more patients, and at the same time decrease our door-to-needle time which is below the national average,” says internationally renowned neurologist Iftekhar Ahmed, M.D., Medical Director of the Stroke Program at Research Medical Center.  “Research was also the first hospital in the region to offer TIA or ‘minor stroke’ patients a fully integrated TIA clinic, offering patients full access to multi-disciplinary services in one convenient location.  Based upon the excellent outcomes of this clinic, HCA Midwest Health now offers six TIA clinics throughout the region providing better access to patients who need TIA consultation.”

It is estimated that treating TIA patients with a timely and comprehensive approach may prevent 80 percent of recurrent stroke events.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Research Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” says Jackie DeSouza, Chief Executive Officer, Research Medical Center. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”

“We are pleased to recognize Research Medical Center for their commitment and dedication to stroke care,” says Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”

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