Willis-Knighton Health System’s stroke program receives awards

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Willis-Knighton Health System’s stroke program at WK Pierremont Health Center and WK Bossier Health Center have received Get with the Guidelines Quality Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The awards recognize the hospitals’ commitment to ensuring patients receive the most appropriate treatment for stroke, according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Willis-Knighton received Stroke Gold Plus, Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll and 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 at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery, reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health and get a follow-up visit scheduled as well as other care transition interventions.

“These awards reflect the dedication and excellence of our stroke teams in recognition and rapid treatment of stroke,” says Beth Springer, stroke coordinator at WK Pierremont Health Center. “Stroke is an emergency, and every minute we can save will influence the patient’s outcome. The Willis-Knighton stroke program strives to continuously improve our processes and provide optimal care to those affected by cerebrovascular disease.”

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, and more than 6.5 million adults nationwide are living with heart failure.

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.