PINEHURST – The stroke care program at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital has received its second consecutive designation as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, earning a Gold Seal of Approval following an on-site survey in March.
The Primary Stroke Center designation recognizes programs that make exceptional efforts to ensure better outcomes for stroke patients. It also demonstrates to the community that the services provided by designated hospitals meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients.
The MRH program received its original Primary Stroke Center designation in 2009. The 2011 certification also includes FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, which is a division of Moore Regional Hospital.
“Certification as an advanced primary stroke center tells our community that we have the physicians, staff, technology and quality of service ready to care for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Misty Sinclair, M.D., a board certified neurologist and medical director of Moore Regional’s stroke care program. “The achievement of this re-certification reinforces the commitment of our physicians and staff to comply with demonstrated standards that have been shown to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”
“Stroke recertification shows the continued improvement of quality health care at FirstHealth of the Carolinas,” says Suzanne Wilson, M.D., a board certified hospitalist physician at Moore Regional and a member of the hospital’s Stroke Performance Improvement Team. “The collaborative team approach among all disciplines (physician, pharmacist, nursing and therapist) for stroke care puts the patient at the forefront of our processes. Due to our efforts, we have been recognized and, better yet, have improved the health care of our community.”
“The achievement of this certification reinforces the dedication of our physicians and hospital staff to comply with demonstrated standards that have been shown to improve outcomes for stroke patients,” says Richmond Memorial President John Jackson. “We are very proud of our staff for achieving this certification, which was accomplished in partnership with FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. It’s great to be a part of a supportive system.”
The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center certification is based on recommendations for stroke care published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association. The Joint Commission launched the program – the nation’s first – in 2003.
Currently, only 29 other hospitals in North Carolina have earned the certification.
Moore Regional Hospital treated 509 stroke patients in 2010. The Emergency Department, Medical/Neurology Intensive Care Unit, Neurology Nursing Unit and Inpatient Rehabilitation provide stroke care services with the support of almost every other department in the hospital. As first-responders, the paramedics and EMTs of Moore County EMS and FirstHealth Regional EMS are also active members of the stroke care team.
The hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation program recently earned its sixth consecutive three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for its adult inpatient rehabilitation and stroke specialty programs.
Activation of the stroke team gives patients the best chance to receive acute therapies such as the “clot-busting” drug, TPA. A designated stroke program also ensures that patients receive the best possible hospital care and have fewer stroke complications.
“If you look at our continuum of care, you see that we provide everything that most stroke patients need,” says Joy Martin, R.N., the hospital’s stroke coordinator and chair of the Stroke Performance Improvement Team. “Our patients can be confident in what we do here. We have protocols in place, they are followed, and we do them well.”
According to Martin, the national turnaround goal for a CT-confirmed stroke diagnosis is 45 minutes. At Moore Regional, the average turnaround time is 26 minutes.
“This is credited to the collaboration and communication of the ED and Radiology department,” she says.
Stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Each year, about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, with someone suffering a stroke every 45 seconds.
About 4.7 million stroke survivors are alive today.
Moore Regional employees are educated in stroke alert response, symptom recognition and treatment protocols. Most common stroke symptoms that individuals and their families should also recognize include the following:
- Sudden numbness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
- Slurred speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, and loss of balance and coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
“In the event a person should develop any of these signs or symptoms, please call 911,” says Martin. “A stroke is a medical emergency.”
For more information on the stroke care services at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, visit the FirstHealth website at www.firsthealth.org.