Deaconess Hospital Receives National Stroke Center Accreditation
Deaconess Hospital has received Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission, in recognition of the hospital's commitment to the highest standards in the country for stroke care. The accreditation was obtained after an on-site review by surveyors from The Joint Commission, and months of multi-disciplinary planning by a team of hospital employees and physicians on the Deaconess medical staff.
"An endorsement from The Joint Commission, which we consider the gold standard of quality patient care, offers reassurance to our community's residents that Deaconess is the place to go during a stroke," says Bill Gilbert, chief executive officer. "The goal of our stroke program is to preserve quality of life through the use of sophisticated technology, careful attention to the process of caring for the patient, and assisting the patient and family to gain understanding of how to modify lifestyle to reduce the risk of further stroke."
"We're committed to making our stroke care program the best it can be – and this means partnering with physicians for ongoing improvements in quality and clinical practices, and investing the latest tools, techniques and innovations," continues Gilbert. "When people who live and work in Spokane County think about superior stroke care, we want them to think of Deaconess."
"Our first and ultimate goal is to reduce the time between stroke onset and treatment," says Jon Ween, M.D., a board certified neurologist and medical director of the hospital's stroke program. "Having a cohesive team in place is absolutely important when minutes can make a major difference in a patient's outcome," says Dr. Ween. "We are fortunate to have a great team, and exceptional components important for the treatment of stroke. With these elements in place, we are able to provide a high level of acute stroke care."
The hospital's comprehensive stroke program includes sophisticated diagnostic technology like MRI studies and CT scans; precise, detailed staff in nursing, rehabilitation services, pharmacy, radiology and social work; and extremely competent emergency physicians, hospitalists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and available interventionalists.
The stroke team leads process improvements and program management that are key areas of interest for The Joint Commission. During their site visit this summer, TJC surveyors reviewed six areas for accuracy and efficiency including: urgent care assessment, acute care hospitalization or treatment, risk factor modification, secondary prevention, patient education and patient rehabilitation. In addition, the surveyors considered different measurements for the delivery of patient care during the urgent care assessment -- the most important being the amount of time that elapses from when the patient enters the emergency room to when he or she is administered a clot-busting drug.
A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack" because it can injure the brain like a heart attack can injure the heart. A stroke occurs when part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs, either because there is a blockage or because a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds out. Both types of stroke can cause brain cells to die. Stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death. Each year, about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke – one every 40 seconds, according to the American Heart Association. The National Center for Health Statistics shows that stroke is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.
According to the American Stroke Association, warning signs of a stroke include: sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
"If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 and get to an emergency room immediately," says Dr. Ween.
The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification program was developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association. The certification is based on the recommendations and guidelines for primary stroke care centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association.
To learn more about Deaconess' stroke program, prevention and early identification, visit DeaconessSpokane.com/stroke