2022 Award Winner Non-Research Non-Teaching Hospital Health System


Texas Health Resources, Arlington

Texas Health Resources in Arlington was awarded THA’s Bill Aston Award for Quality for its Early Recognition and Treatment of Ischemic Stroke project, an innovative approach to improve care and mortality of stroke patients.

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, with almost 800,000 occurrences annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. Stroke events are so commonplace in the U.S. that every 40 seconds someone has a stroke, with one person dying from stroke every three and a half minutes. Even those who survive often experience devastating long-term side effects and disabilities. Stroke care can be costly to patients and their families, as well as negatively impact hospital systems and patient care. According to the CDC Stroke Facts, the costs associated with stroke totaled almost $3 billion between 2017 and 2018, including time off work for patients and their caregivers, medications, and other healthcare-related expenses.

The most common type of stroke is the ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is obstructed by a blocked vessel. These make up over 85% of all stroke occurrences. Each minute of brain ischemia can kill two million nerve cells and 14 billion synapses. The less time elapsed before treatment, the better the opportunity for a good outcome. A summary statement from the Brain Attack Coalition supports the development of Stroke Centers as one approach to improving stroke care for patients who are not treated according to contemporary guidelines.

In 2019, Texas Health Resources initiated a Reliable Care Blueprinting™ (RCB) project focused on early identification of patients with ischemic stroke to improve patient outcomes. RCB is Texas Health Resources’ approach to care model design to provide patients a safe, reliable experience at every Texas Health Resources location, every time. The goal of the RCB Stroke project was to design a process for early recognition and treatment of ischemic stroke that is safe, effective, and evidence-based to achieve favorable functional outcomes and mortality.

The RCB Stroke project has proven to be beneficial to patients. Inpatient mortality for stroke patients has decreased since implementation of the RCB Stroke project. Over a 12-month period from July 2021 through June 2022, inpatient mortality has decreased 86.71%.

Please join us in congratulating Texas Health Resources for being named the 2022 Bill Aston Award for Quality winner.