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News and Information
February 8, 2019
St. Joseph Medical Center Recognized with Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification (CSC)
Stroke is the country’s leading cause of disability, and 23 percent of first-time stroke patients will experience a second stroke within a year. Think about that, nearly a quarter of stroke patients will have a second stroke within 12 months. Stroke specialists at St. Joseph Medical Center recognize that comprehensive and integrated care is the best treatment approach for a stroke patients’ long-term recovery. The entire team of specialists have worked hard to provide services that are being recognized for meeting high standards.
In November, St. Joseph was awarded the prestigious Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification (CSC) by DNV-GL Healthcare in recognition of a wide range of quality metrics, including comprehensive, community-based follow-up care.
The capabilities of the stroke program transcend into quality patient care. After his 2018 stroke, 81-year-old Wayne Moore of Elma says the comprehensive care he received from St. Joseph put him on the path to recovery.
Since his hospital discharge in December, Moore has also received help coordinating care between his primary care doctor and specialists, assistance with wheelchair safety, and help understanding his new medications. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the care I received. I’m doing well, and thanks to the care from the staff at St. Joseph, I think I can make a 100 percent recovery.”
“Comprehensive follow-up care is important because many people experience disability after a stroke,” said Dennis Wang, MD, medical director of stroke services at St. Joseph Medical Center. But aligning the resources needed to provide this type of coordinated care is costly.
“Because St. Joseph has long provided nationally recognized stroke care, we saw the importance of committing resources to this effort,” said Wang. The hospital was one of the region’s first hospitals to offer advanced minimally invasive surgical interventions for stroke. In 2009, it became the first hospital in Pierce County to earn Primary Stroke Center accreditation.
Last year, a care coordinator position was added to handle the complex follow-up care patients need after hospital discharge, contacting patients after two days, nine days, 14 days, 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days at home. “Care coordination expands the reach of an already excellent program,” said Gena Kreiner, stroke program coordinator at St. Joseph Medical Center. “This demonstrates the excellence of the stoke care throughout a patient’s recovery, from hospital admissions through rehabilitation therapy.”
The CSC program integrates guidelines of the Brain Attack Coalition and recommendations of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. “The certification process involves rigorous evaluation of the program’s quality measures,” said Dr. Wang. Considerations go beyond care provided in the hospital to include continuing education for medical staff, community outreach, and follow-up care coordination.
“Because 80 percent of strokes are preventable, education and coordination of care are vital to helping people avoid a first stroke or a recurrent stroke,” said Kreiner. “We’re tremendously proud of the work we’re doing to improve patient’s lives.”