Hamilton receives primary stroke accreditation 
from The Joint Commission

Friday, March 21, 2014

 Pictured are some of HMC’s Stroke Team members and nurses on the 2B unit (stroke unit). In the front, from left, are Hannah Jones, Stephanie Bergeron and Shana Kaiser. In the back are Melissa Eskew, Joan Addis, Teresa Ingle, Gina Hawkins, Linda Johns, Niki Haynes and Cherish Higdon.
Pictured are some of HMC’s Stroke Team members and nurses on the 2B unit (stroke unit). In the front, from left, are Hannah Jones, Stephanie Bergeron and Shana Kaiser. In the back are Melissa Eskew, Joan Addis, Teresa Ingle, Gina Hawkins, Linda Johns, Niki Haynes and Cherish Higdon.

 DALTON, Ga. – Hamilton Medical Center (HMC) recently received The Joint Commission’s Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers. This distinction recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care.

“We take stroke care very seriously,” said Hannah Jones, RN, clinical resource nurse. “Time is key when treating a patient who’s had a stroke, which is why we have protocols in place so we can be ready to treat a patient before he or she arrives.”

HMC’s Stroke Team includes:

William Pullen, MD (medical director); Juan Gonzalez, MD; Robert Pedersen, MD; Daniel Zapko, MD; Cathy Ferguson, vice president and chief nursing officer; Mike Allen, Emergency Department director; Brad Burgess, senior CT tech; Cathy Barbree, Pharmacy clinical director; Terri Brown, Medical Services director; Vernon Gipson, Surgical Services director; Rachel Manis, Surgical Services clinical manager; Tiffany Rentfro, clinical data systems coordinator; Robin Green, Clinical Development Services director; Stephanie Bergeron, RN; Scott Turnmire, paramedic; Susan Dollar, Quality Improvement, Accreditation and Education director; Kathie Edwards, speech therapist with Looper Speech and Hearing; Taylor Womack, occupational therapist; Brianne Terry, physical therapy supervisor; Kevin Roberts, Rehab and Wellness Services director; Paula Knowles, RN, case manager; Midge Gibson, case manager; Joan Hughes, Medical Intensive Care Unit manager; Lisa Defore, Laboratory manager; and Hanna Jones, RN, clinical resource nurse.

HMC’s survey was an all-day event. The surveyor visited the Emergency Department, computed tomography (CT) area, Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), 2B (Hamilton’s stroke unit, and the pharmacy – interviewing staff members that a stroke patient would encounter as they arrived and were treated at the hospital.

“We received accolades for increasing our usage of tPA (the only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic strokes) and decreasing our door-to-needle times,” said Jones.

To be certified as a Primary Stroke Center, programs must:

• Use a standardized method of delivering care based on the Brain Attack Coalition’s
“Recommendations for Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers”
• Support patient self-management activities
• Tailor treatment and intervention to individual needs
• Promote the flow of patient information across settings and providers, while protecting patient rights, security and privacy
• Analyze and use standardized performance measure data to continually improve treatment plans
• Demonstrate their application of and compliance with clinical practice guidelines published by the AHA/ASA or equivalent evidence-based guidelines.

The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification Program, launched in December 2003, was developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

Click here for more on Hamilton's Stroke Center  www.hamiltonhealth.com/stroke.