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KDMC Stroke Program Receives Gold Seal of Approval

King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) has received the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations 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.

"We’re very proud to achieve the Certificate of Distinction as an advanced primary stroke center," said Fred Jackson, KDMC president and CEO."Our program received the Joint Commission disease specific certification without a single requirement or recommendation for improvement, which means we not only met, but exceeded, national standards. In fact, the Joint Commission reviewer indicated that several aspects of our stroke program may be incorporated as a best practice model."

"Putting all the elements in place to achieve this distinction was truly a team effort," said Amy Sieweke, director of the KDMC NeuroMedicine program. 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 numerous departments including: the Emergency Department, Laboratory, Radiology, Surgery, the ICU, nursing and Rehabilitation. Physicians representing the specialties of neurology, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, hospitalists/primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation 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 also received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines SM–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 seconds 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.

About the Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more then 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 8,000 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,800 other health care organizations that provide long term care, assisted living, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also accredits health plans, integrated delivery networks, and other managed care entities. In addition, the Joint Commission provides certification of disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about the Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

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