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Stroger Hospital receives Joint Commission Accreditation as Advanced Primary Stroke Center
One of about 50 hospitals in Illinois with the designation

Thursday, August 05, 2010
Special to suffredin.org

CHICAGO - John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital has joined the ranks of Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the University of Chicago Medical Center in being recognized as an "Advanced Primary Stroke Center."

 

The designation, which is bestowed on hospitals nationwide by The Joint Commission, means that the County facility has been recognized as providing "exceptional efforts" to treat stroke patients. There are only about 50 recognized "Primary Stroke Centers" in Illinois.

 

"This is a great honor for our healthcare System," said Cook County Health and Hospitals System CEO William Foley. "This was a tremendous effort by our staff to make sure that our patient's care always comes first. This is another example of the healthcare System's commitment to providing quality healthcare for our patients."

 

The Joint Commission said such certification is awarded to centers "that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care."  The certification is valid for up to 24 months.

 

"The certification process brought together a dynamic multidisciplinary team of exceptional staff which is essential to both maintaining high quality care and demonstrating our commitment to enhancing the lives of the patients we serve," said Mary Wisniewski, Assistant Director, Stroger Hospital Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs.

 

 "Since we started this undertaking, we have saved lives and that is something we all can be very proud of, "Wisniewski said. "The most important thing is our ability to diagnosis and treat stroke victims in a matter of minutes. Second, is communicating to every single person (patients, family, & staff) that stroke is treatable and seeking emergency medical care ASAP is key to a complete recovery."

 

The Advanced Primary Stroke Center helps patients by bringing together specialists in neurology, emergency medicine, stroke evaluation, treatment, care, prevention, and education.

 

"Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.  More than

143,579 people die each year from strokes nationwide," Wisniewski said. "And the patient population we serve is at a higher risk for suffering a stroke."

In Illinois, more than 6,800 people die from stroke annually.  Stroger Hospital treated 412 patients for stroke and 150 patients for pre-stroke last year.

 

Since Jan. 1, 2010, the Joint Commission has required Primary Certified Stroke Centers to collect and report on eight quality measures for stroke.

These measures are based on established stroke guidelines intended to produce optimal patient outcomes.

 

The measures help put strong clinical evidence into practice. Examples include treating appropriate patients with clot-busting drugs within three hours of the onset of stroke; discharging patients with blood thinners; monitoring patients for irregular heart rhythms that can trigger strokes; prescribing cholesterol-lowering drugs when appropriate; educating patients and their families about stroke and reducing risk factors and providing for patients' rehabilitation needs.

 

As of October 1, 2009, there were more than 600 certified primary stroke centers in 49 states. Certification is available only to stroke programs in Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

 

CCHHS oversees a comprehensive, integrated system of healthcare throughout Chicago and suburban Cook County through its hospitals, ambulatory and community health network clinics, public health department, correctional healthcare facility, and outpatient infectious disease center.

 

The CCHHS (formerly known as the Cook County Bureau of Health Services) is comprised of:  John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, Provident Hospital, Oak Forest Hospital, Cook County Department of Public Health, Cermak Health Services, the Ruth Rothstein CORE Center and the 16 Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) health centers.



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