Marin General Hospital Receives Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Marin General Hospital Receives Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Award demonstrates Marin General Hospital’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients

GREENBRAE, CA — Consistent adherence to evidence-based guidelines and quality measures for stroke care has earned Marin General Hospital’s stroke program a fifth consecutive American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Hospitals participating in the voluntary quality improvement initiative must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures.

“This award demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to ensure that stroke patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence,” says neurologist John Panagotacos, MD, medical director of Marin General Hospital’s stroke program. “Participating in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative helps us achieve that goal.”

In addition to strict time parameters within which treatment for stroke patients must be started, the guidelines include aggressive use of medications which have been shown to improve patient outcomes such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling. All are aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.     

Marin General Hospital has also been certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center for having a comprehensive system, including the availability 24/7 of a neurosurgeon and interventional radiologist, for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients and is the only Primary Stroke Center in Marin County that can treat all types of strokes onsite. 

“It is critical that patients experiencing a stroke get care as quickly as possible,” says Dr. Panagotacos “Every minute counts, and as demonstrated by these designations, our entire EMS team, emergency department staff and our imaging and laboratory services are committed to working together to achieve the fastest time-to-treatment while delivering the highest quality care."

 “We are pleased to recognize Marin General Hospital for its commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care.”

For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality-improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.  

About F.A.S.T

The acronym F.A.S.T. was developed by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke.

  • Face drooping
  • Arm Weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 911, if yes to the above

About Get With the Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with 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 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit or