Newswise — Ben Taub Hospital is the recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®- Stroke Gold Plus-Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award. The newly created elite award means the hospital achieved high marks for response and care provided for acute ischemic strokes, the most common stroke—87 percent of all cases—in America.

The recognition places Harris Heath System’s Ben Taub Hospital among an exclusive group in southeast Texas capable of offering specialized care for the most complex stroke patients. The nationally-recognized hospital already boasts an impressive résumé of multiple certifications and commendations for its comprehensive stroke service. Comprehensive stroke centers are the largest and best-equipped hospitals in a given geographical area.

“This once again exhibits our staff’s commitment to excellence in patient care. To achieve this award, Ben Taub Hospital demonstrated 24 consecutive months of superior performance in the care of stroke patients. There is no higher recognition,” says Dr. Robert Trenschel, executive vice president and administrator, Ben Taub Hospital. “Most importantly this signifies that patients coming to Ben Taub Hospital will receive the highest quality care possible in the treatment of stroke and continues to fortify our position as a community asset. “

Stroke center certifications are an increasingly important way to demonstrate a stroke center's expertise and leadership. In Texas, the level of certification determines where trauma and EMS services will transport patients for the most appropriate stroke care.

“Our stroke program is successful because of the hard work and dedication from the stroke team members,” says Naylon Bird, manager, Stroke Program, Ben Taub Hospital. “Our multi-disciplinary team strives to go above and beyond to improve processes and assure that our patients receive the highest standard of stroke care.”

To receive the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus-Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, Ben Taub achieved an 85 percent or higher adherence to all program indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with at least five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality measures. Additionally, the Elite Plus recognition means the hospital achieved a door-to-needle time of 60 minutes or less in 75 percent of cases and, in at least 50 percent of cases, achieved door-to-needle times of 45 minutes or less.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates Ben Taub’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” says Dr. Joseph Kass, chief of Neurology and medical director of Stroke Service, Ben Taub Hospital, and associate professor, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine. “We will continue to focus on providing care to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”

Ben Taub Hospital also has a Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification awarded by DNV Healthcare, Inc. The DNV Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification is for three years and encompasses the full spectrum of stroke care—diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education—and establishes clear metrics to evaluate outcomes. The hospital also is a designated comprehensive stroke center by the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC), a council that coordinates stroke, as well as other services such as trauma, to ensure the most efficient and best care available.