Kenmore Mercy Awarded Joint Commission Stroke Certification

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August 3, 2011

Kenmore Mercy Hospital, a member of Catholic Health, was recently awarded a special certification from the Joint Commission for its stroke care program. The northtown facility is the first of the healthcare system’s hospitals to receive the Advanced Primary Stroke Center certification, which recognizes its cohesive approach to fostering better outcomes for stroke patients.

As the nation’s most trusted healthcare standard-setting accrediting, certifying and regulatory body, the Joint Commission conducted an extensive, on-site review of Kenmore Mercy’s stroke care program in July.

During the site visit, Joint Commission’s expert reviewers looked for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, process improvement, leadership and medication management.

James Millard, President & CEO of Kenmore Mercy Hospital“Certification as an advanced primary stroke center from the Joint Commission informs our community that we have staff with the clinical expertise, technology and quality of service to effectively diagnose and treat stroke patients 24/7,” said James Millard, President & CEO of Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

The Joint Commission’s Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification Program is based on the Recommendations for Advanced Primary Stroke Centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and American Stroke Association guidelines. Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Centers are held to high standards in the areas of quality, safety and patient care outcomes.

As a New York State Designated Stroke Center since 2006, Kenmore Mercy Hospital has also met the State’s stringent guidelines for stroke care. This includes:

  • being seen by a physician within 15 minutes of arrival in the ER;
  • receiving a CT scan within 25 minutes;
  • interpretation of CT results in 45 minutes; lab results in 45 minutes; and
  • clot busting drugs within 60 minutes of arrival or 3 hours of symptom onset.

“Kenmore Mercy’s certification reinforces Catholic Health’s efforts to improve access to high quality stroke services for residents throughout Erie County and beyond,” said Holly Bowser, Vice President Neuroscience and Vascular Service Lines for Catholic Health. Both Sisters of Charity and Mercy Hospital’s plan to pursue Joint Commission certification for their stroke programs.

Stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, with someone suffering a stroke every 45 seconds. There are approximately 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

Stroke warning signs include: sudden confusion, slurred speech or difficulty understanding; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms or legs, especially on one side of the body; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache without cause.