Dr. Alexander Flint, a Neurointensivist and Stroke Specialist at Kaiser Permanente Redwood City, has been honored with a prestigious award from his medical group for a research study that has broad implications in stroke emergencies for saving patient lives and reducing the need for extensive post-stroke rehabilitation.
His research, published in the journals Stroke and Neurology, showed that patients given statin medications immediately upon entering the hospital were more likely to survive the stroke and go home, rather than dying or being referred to a rehabilitation center or a nursing home.
Dr. Flint’s study has led to medical protocol changes at Kaiser Permanente, and far beyond. For his work, Dr. Flint was honored with The 2013 Dr. Morris Collen Research award, named for a founding member of The Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente’s physicians.
“It’s a tremendous honor, particular given that Dr. Collen just celebrated his hundredth birthday this year,” said Dr. Flint, “and in light of the fact that Dr. Collen pioneered Kaiser Permanente’s electronic medical record databases, which I used in my research.”
Kaiser Permanente’s advanced electronic medical record system, called KP HealthConnect, allowed Dr. Flint to study the anonymous medical data of nearly 13,000 patients admitted to Kaiser Hospitals with stroke over the last 7 years.
Treatment of stroke patients with statins before and during their hospital stay was associated with approximately a 20% increased chance of discharge to home and was also associated with about a 40% reduction in one-year mortality.
“We knew that taking statins could help prevent a second stroke,” said Dr. Flint. “What our research showed was that the timing and dose of statin treatment matters, because earlier and higher dose statin treatment also improves outcomes from the initial stroke.”
Dr. Flint, a resident of the Peninsula, says his study also showed that withdrawing statins in the hospital, even for a brief time, is associated with worsened outcomes. Kaiser Permanente already uses low-cost, generic, well-tolerated statins in cardiac care; with Dr. Flint’s research, the system has already started giving statins to stroke patients as soon as possible on entering the hospital.
For a video about Dr. Flint, his research and award, please see: http://tpmgawards.kaiserpermanente.org/collen-research/2013/alexander_flint/