In just a few seconds, a stroke can change a life forever. Strokes are the third leading cause of death and are the leading cause of adult long-term disability in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. About 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year and another 100,000 have recurrent strokes.
Lutheran Hospital, which is recognized nationally for its care of stroke patients, is a primary stroke center. According to The Joint Commission, which bestows this designation, primary stroke certification is the Gold Seal of Approval™ for quality and safety. The center is recertified every three years.
To earn the Gold Plus distinction, the hospital underwent a voluntary, extensive evaluation to demonstrate the program meets ASA and Brain Attack Coalition national standards. These guidelines address stroke patients' needs from the minute they arrive in the emergency department until their discharge and include:
- 24/7 neurologist and neurosurgeon coverage
- 24/7 access to radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services
- A stroke-alert process to quickly diagnose and treat stroke patients arriving within six hours of stroke-symptom onset
- Order sets that encompass best practice recommendations
- Specially certified and trained nurses
- Continual analysis and tracking of quality and outcomes
- Rehabilitation, if needed
The multidisciplinary stroke team, which is ready 24/7 to treat stroke patients, includes emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, nurses, therapists, social workers, pharmacists and dietitians.
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recognize Lutheran Hospital for achieving 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get with the Guidelines-Stroke® performance achievement indicators for consecutive 12-month intervals and 75 percent or higher compliance with six of the 10 stroke quality measures. Guidelines are designed to improve the quality of patient care and outcomes.