Willis-Knighton Recognized for Commitment to Quality Stroke Care

Jul 26, 2022

Willis-Knighton Health System’s stroke program at WK Pierremont Health Center and WK Bossier Health Center have received the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The award recognizes the health system’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Willis-Knighton was also recognized with the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards.

The stroke program 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.

“These awards reflect the dedication our stroke teams have to providing quality care and rapid treatment of stroke,” says Brittney Anderson, stroke coordinator at WK Pierremont Health Center. “Stroke care is advancing rapidly, and these awards demonstrate Willis-Knighton’s commitment to improving patient care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines so that patients recover better and experience longer, healthier lives.”

Sarah Fields, stroke coordinator at WK Bossier Health Center, added, “Hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get with the Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. according to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or ruptures. On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every 3 ½ minutes, and nearly 800,000 people are affected by a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Get with the Guidelines is the American Heart 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 6 million patients since 2001.

Willis-Knighton’s first stroke unit opened at WK Pierremont Health Center in 2016 and in 2017 it received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The certification indicates it is a facility that gives highly reliable care for stroke patients. The protocols developed by the WK Pierremont stroke team have been replicated for all Willis-Knighton emergency departments.

The second stroke unit at WK Bossier Health Center opened in February 2019. The six-bed unit is the second in the system that consolidates stroke patients into an area where a team with specialized training provide care.