Four R.I. hospitals win top stroke care honor

Updated: 10:37 a.m.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the Gold and Silver Award winners.

PROVIDENCE – Four Rhode Island hospitals have been named Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award recipients by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Kent Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital and South County Hospital were all recognized by the organization 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.

The hospitals met 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.

- Advertisement -

Landmark Medical Center, Newport Hospital, and Our Lady of Fatima were recognized with Silver Plus Awards.

“Kent Hospital 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 Dr. Arshad Iqbal, chief of neurology and director of the Stroke Center at Kent Hospital. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

Kent Hospital also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll award. To qualify for that 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.

The Miriam Hospital also received the Target: Stroke Elite award. To qualify, the hospital met the time to thrombolytic therapy within 60 minutes measure in 75 percent or more of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA.

“We are very proud to receive the ‘Gold-Plus’ quality achievement award and ‘Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite’ award. The Gold level award is the highest honor for stroke care that a hospital can achieve,” said Arthur Sampson, president of The Miriam Hospital.

“It recognizes the excellence in stroke care that continues to be provided to our patients.  The Miriam Hospital has been honored by the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association virtually every year for more than a decade.  Our multidisciplinary team provides optimized care to diagnose and deliver the right treatment for our stroke patients,” Sampson said.

Rhode Island Hospital also received the association’s Target: Stroke Elite Plus award. To qualify, the hospital met the time to thrombolytic therapy within 60 minutes measure in 75 percent or more of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA AND time to thrombolytic therapy within 45 minutes in 50 percent of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA.

“Rhode Island Hospital is proud to carry the highest designation of Gold Plus from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines program, and the ‘target’ distinction for quality,” said Rhode Island Hospital president Margaret M. Van Bree. “As the state’s only comprehensive stroke center, we are committed to providing every patient with the best and most timely treatment possible, and turning standards-based care into better quality of life for our patients. These national guidelines help us to continuously improve our practice.”

According to the Associations, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer re-admissions and lower mortality rates,” said Dr. Eric E. Smith, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at