TROY — Premier Health announced Upper Valley Medical Center has earned Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA). The certification recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a primary or comprehensive stroke center.
Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and Good Samaritan Hospital and Atrium Medical Center are certified as Advanced Primary Stroke Centers.
UVMC underwent a rigorous onsite review in December to assess its compliance with the Joint Commission’s Advanced Disease-Specific Care certification requirements, including:
• A dedicated stroke-focused program
• Staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care
• Collaboration with local emergency management agencies
• 24/7 ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing
• Ability to administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients, and
• Availability of telemedicine technology.
“We are delighted to receive Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification. This recognition demonstrates our commitment to providing a higher standard of service to stroke patients,” said Becky Rice, UVMC president and CEO. “Regardless of the level of stroke care needed, patients can be taken to any hospital or emergency center within the Premier Health system to avail themselves of the capabilities of the Premier network.”
“This certification is an important bridge and a key component in the Premier Health system of stroke care,” said Diane Pleiman, UVMC vice president. “A Joint Commission and AHA/ASA certified Acute Stroke Ready Hospital is the foundation for acute stroke care in many communities, allowing it to be the first stop on a patient’s acute stroke journey.”
“Attaining certification throughout our hospitals underscores the deep commitment to excellence in stroke care,” Pleiman added. “It is the culmination of years of work toward recruiting physicians, acquiring the right resources, and organizing existing resources into one cohesive system.”
“Stroke services at all Premier Health hospitals and emergency centers are designed to foster better outcomes for stroke care,” said David Cohen, MD, ABEM, medical director of emergency services at UVMC. “The Premier Health hospitals have 24-hour emergency stroke services and a stroke alert system to rapidly mobilize our stroke team to diagnose and treat stroke quickly.”
“For certification, the Joint Commission looks at the speed of care and patient outcomes,” Dr. Cohen continued. “With all stroke therapies, speed of care is important. Patients may be seen in person or via Premier’s TeleStroke Network by a member of the Premier stroke team. Without losing critical time, a stroke patient can be examined via a secure computer and video link to the on-call specialist any time of the day or night.
“Through this telemedicine approach, everyone on the care team is either in the room or on the computer monitor with real-time access to the patient, medical records and test results, so treatment can begin immediately, facilitating the best possible recovery.”
Established in 2015, Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals. Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the AHA/ASA. 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.
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