Newswise — Ben Taub Hospital is quickly building its reputation for outstanding stroke care, evident by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s recent recognition of the Harris Health System hospital with its Get with the Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus. The national award marks the third for the hospital in successive years.


To achieve the award, Ben Taub Hospital boasts an impressive door-to-needle time of 60 minutes or less in 92.6 percent of eligible acute ischemic stroke patients compared to the national standard of 75 percent. This is the time staff uses to administer life-saving intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) to dissolve clots and improve blood flow. In fact, staff can achieve these procedures in 45 minutes or less in 74.1 percent of cases, compared to the national standard of 50 percent.


Ben Taub Hospital also holds state and national certifications and accreditations from DNV-GL Healthcare and the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC). The recognitions place Ben Taub Hospital among elite facilities in the U.S. to offer cutting-edge stroke procedures, treatments and therapies. Greater Houston has six comprehensive stroke centers. These designations are increasingly important and used by fire departments/EMS personnel to transport stroke sufferers for most appropriate care.


Suzanne Moffett’s grateful paramedics knew to take her to Ben Taub Hospital. She woke up there, not knowing she had just suffered a stroke. Hers was the most common stroke—ischemic—with a large blockage to a main brain artery. Her prognosis seemed bleak, but staff overcame it using a procedure that uses a catheter-fed insertion to remove the blockage.


“Thankful, is all I can say for what the hospital staff did for me,” she says. “I’m happy everyone knew what they were doing and could get me through it.”


Remarkably, Moffett made a seemingly complete recovery, showing no signs of lost brain function or memory loss.


“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and these recognitions show Ben Taub Hospital’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” says Naylon Bird, RN, manager, Stroke Program, Ben Taub Hospital.  


Bird and 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, credit the program’s success to its multi-disciplinary team, who work to improve processes and maintain the highest standards of patient care.


“These recognitions showcase our staff’s commitment to excellence in patient care,” says Dr. Ericka Brown, executive vice president and administrator, Ben Taub Hospital. “Most importantly they signify to patients coming to Ben Taub Hospital that they are receiving the highest quality care possible in the treatment of stroke.”


The Get with the Guidelines award means hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher in all achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods (Ben Taub Hospital scored greater than 90 percent) and hospitals must achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight stringent quality measures (Ben Taub Hospital achieved greater than 90 percent in all eight measures).