by VERONICA GORDON
Kyle and Buda residents are now within miles of the first hospital in the county certified as a primary care center for stroke victims. And according to the National Stroke Association immediate care can make the of difference in stroke patient survival and recovery.
Stroke patients who receive treatment within the first hour of onset have the best chance of survival and prevention of disability, according to NSA.
Seton Hays recently received the highest national medical standards for the certification from the Joint Commission, a national independent, not-for-profit based in Illinois. The commission is the oldest and largest health care standard-setting and accrediting body. Founded in 1951, it accredits and certifies more than 19,000 U.S. health care facilities and programs and is the recognized standard for U.S. hospitals.
The certification means that Seton Hays has highly trained medical staff that can effectively treat all types of strokes and provide the best possible outcomes for patients and their families. The certification is awarded for two years. It recognizes hospitals that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care.
Seton Hays was surveyed by the Joint Commission on Aug. 13. The hospital’s “Stroke Care Team,” which led this effort, includes employees Leigh Allen, Francesca Damiano-Hammond, Helen Fernandez, Sarah Hoffman, Nikki Rivers, Deana Salas, Michelle Sriro and Leigh Velie.
Certification recognizes that the services provided to stroke patients at Seton Hays have the critical elements to achieve long-term success and meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients.
The Joint Commission’s “Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers” is based on the evaluation of standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measurement activities.
Seton Hays Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Herb Dyer was notified by the Joint Commission last week.
“Adherence to clinical practice guidelines and data-driven performance improvement are behind this important milestone,” said Dyer in a statement. “So are dozens of Seton Hays physicians, nurses and other clinical staff. We have some of the best people working here, providing the best possible care – not only for stroke patients, but for all of our patients.”
The Joint Commission evaluates health care organizations and inspires them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value, according to the release.
The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification program was developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association. It is based on the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers.” As of July 2012, there were more than 925 certified primary stroke centers in 48 states. Seton Medical Center Hays is the fourth Seton facility to earn this distinction.