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KDMC receives Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval
for Stroke Program

JointCommissionKing’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) has received the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. KDMC earned this distinction after a recent Joint Commission on-site review.

“King’s Daughters demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” said Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. Range said King’s Daughters has earned the Joint Commission's Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers. This certification recognizes facilities that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. Achievement of certification signifies that the services have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes.

“We’re very proud to achieve the Certificate of Distinction as a primary stroke center,” said Amy Sieweke, director of the KDMC NeuroMedicine program. “This certification recognizes our commitment to providing outstanding care to patients and the community.”

“Putting all the elements in place to achieve this distinction was truly a team effort,” Sieweke continued. She said for the past year King’s Daughters has focused on developing a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department, as well as those who may suffer a stroke while in the hospital.

The King’s Daughters stroke program includes the participation of teams from the Emergency Department, Laboratory, Radiology, Surgery, the ICU, nursing and Rehabilitation. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency medicine physicians, hospitalists/primary care physicians, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians and psychologists – all are involved in the care of stroke patients. Neurologist Joseph Bajorek, M.D., is medical director of the King’s Daughters Stroke Program.

On-site certification reviews are conducted by Joint Commission inspectors with expertise in stroke care. The certification decision is based on the evaluation of standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measurement activities. Primary stroke centers that successfully demonstrate compliance in all three areas are awarded certification for a one-year period. At the end of the first year, the hospital is required to attest to its continued compliance with standards and evidence of performance measurement and improvement activities. To maintain certification, the cycle repeats with an on-site review conducted every two years and a bi-annual submission of an acceptable assessment of compliance by the hospital.

The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program—the nation’s first—in 2003. A list of programs certified by the Joint Commission is available at www.jointcommission.org.

As part of its focus on stroke care, in March 2010 the King’s Daughters Stroke Program received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM–Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Bronze Performance Achievement Award. KDMC consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the GWTG–Stroke program for 90 days, and continually strives to reach the 85 percent or better compliance level needed to sustain the award.

Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke ever 45 second and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

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