Mission: Lifeline Post-Acute Care Initiative

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Creating confidences in the quality-of-care that stroke patients receive during rehabilitation and recovery

This initiative stems from program standards that were developed by an interdisciplinary committee of post-acute stroke experts, including physicians, nurses, rehabilitation specialists and other ancillary providers. The initiative provides a pathway to enhance guideline-based post-acute care for stroke ultimately improving and prolonging patients’ lives.

Implementation of the Post-Acute Stroke Program Standards provide confidence that a facility’s post-acute stroke rehabilitation program is based on standards aligned with AHA science and vetted by stroke rehabilitation experts.

As the American Heart Association (AHA) continues to grow in the post-acute care (PAC) setting, standardized treatment guidelines can help facilities continue their efforts to provide consistent, high-quality care.

Evidence-based rehabilitation and secondary prevention interventions improve post-stroke functional recovery and reduce secondary complications. However, stroke rehabilitation expertise, processes of care, and educational resources vary among sites where PAC is delivered. The American Heart Association (AHA) developed quality standards based on the AHA 2016 Guidelines for Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery to address these gaps.

SNF Nurse and Patient

Patients Come First

Why is it important for patients to come first? Better communication because of tailored care to the patient, which leads to improved quality of outcomes.

Male Nurse with Patient SNF

How it Benefits Patients & Caregivers

  • Knowledge that the post-acute stroke rehabilitation facility is committed to providing services that are supported by American Heart Association science
  • Assurance that the post-acute care facility is collaborating with the American Heart Association on standardizing their stroke rehabilitation program, in alignment with expert guidance and evidence-based research
  • Confidence their post-acute stroke care team will coordinate and deliver evidence-based treatment across the continuum of care

How it Benefits Participating Facilities

  • Receive a participation stipend
  • Site-specific quality improvement support and processes improvement ideas surrounding quality standards for stroke recovery, rehabilitation, and secondary prevention.
  • Opportunity to be part of a learning collaborative, working with experts in stroke rehabilitation to build tools and share/create best practices to be disseminated nationally.
  • Opportunity to learn from similar facilities applying best practice.
  • Collaboration between your facility and local system of care facilities, e.g., Referring hospitals, local outpatient providers, etc.

Doctor with Female Patient in Pink SNF
SNF Nurse with Man Using Walker

How To Participate

  1. Download our Fact Sheet (PDF) – which helps you determine what your facility needs to know.
  2. Read our FAQ sheet for ND/MT/NE (PDF)
  3. Read our FAQ sheet for IA (PDF)
  4. Contact us!
    Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota
    Janna Pietrzak
    Program Consultant, Health Care Quality
    [email protected]

    Iowa
    Madeline Pawloski
    Program Consultant, Health Care Quality
    [email protected] 

Additional Resources