WK Pierremont Health Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review in January, with Joint Commission experts evaluating compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.
“WK Pierremont Health Center has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of stroke patients through its Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, hospital business development, The Joint Commission. “We commend Willis-Knighton for becoming a leader in stroke care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in its community.”
“The certification means that WK Pierremont is recognized as a facility that gives highly reliable care for stroke patients,” said Gaye Dean, WK Pierremont chief nursing officer. Dean and E.A. Little, MD, neurohospitalist and director of the WK Pierremont Stroke Center, led a team that focused on protocols to achieve this designation.
According to Dean, Pierremont’s separate six-bed stroke unit makes it unique. “We have a dedicated stroke nursing staff and all emergency department staff are educated about how to handle stroke patients as the stroke is occurring,” she explained, indicating that this helps to reduce negative complications and residual effects of stroke.
“That we went through the certification process without any deficiencies or findings makes this certification that much more gratifying,” Dean said.
While WK Pierremont has a dedicated inpatient stroke unit, all Willis-Knighton emergency departments follow strict protocols for stroke developed by the team at WK Pierremont, helping to provide continuity of care for patients with symptoms of stroke who arrive at all Willis-Knighton emergency rooms.
Symptoms of stroke should not be ignored, as immediate access to care facilitates better outcomes. These are easily identified by the word “FAST.” FACE: Is one side of the face drooping? ARM: Is there weakness in the arm? SPEECH: Is speech difficult or unintelligible? If so, it is TIME to call 9-1-1. Emergency responders are trained to deal with these, so someone experiencing these symptoms should not risk a drive to the ER.
Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 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.
For more information about the Stroke Center please visit wkhs.com/Neuro/Stroke.