TOMS RIVER, NJ, August 27, 2009 – Community Medical Center’s Primary Stroke Center has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Community earned this distinction after the Joint Commission conducted an on-site review at the hospital.
“Community Medical Center demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” says Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission.
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 every 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.
“We’re proud to achieve the distinction,” says Mark D. Pilla, executive vice president of Operations for the Saint Barnabas Health Care System and executive director of Community Medical Center. “Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes Community’s commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community.”
The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements/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 a Primary Stroke Center, patients who present to Community Medical Center’s Emergency Department with signs and symptoms of a stroke are immediately placed into the hospital’s Rapid Stroke Assessment program. Under the guidelines of the program, potential stroke patients are taken to a rapid assessment area within the ED that was designated specifically for stroke and heart attack patients. In this area, tests are performed and results are received quickly.
Patients receive an immediate medical and nursing assessment, CT scans, blood tests and ECG, an intravenous line and certain medications. These protocols have been shown to be extremely beneficial in quickly identifying a stroke, and even prevent ones that are about to occur. In addition, certain radiologic tests such as a CTA and MRI scan may be conducted.
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.
For more information about Community Medical Center’s Primary Stroke Center, visit www.barnabashealth.org or call 1-888-724-7123.
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