La PORTE — La Porte Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Primary Stroke Certification.

La Porte Hospital underwent a rigorous, onsite review in December, according to Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive of The Joint Commission.

During the visit, a Joint Commission reviewer evaluated compliance with related certification standards including program management, compliance with evidence based protocol, timeliness of care, and an overall demonstration of expertise in the delivery of stroke care, he said.

Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews, according to Pelletier.

“Primary Stroke Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” he said.

“We commend La Porte Hospital for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

“We congratulate La Porte Hospital for this outstanding achievement,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Stroke Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”

La Porte Hospital CEO Ashley Dickinson applauded the effort of the hospital’s staff.

“This certification is directly attributable to the commitment and clinical expertise of our colleagues from the emergency department, diagnostic imaging, our nursing floors to our physicians,” she said.

“When patients come to us with signs of stroke they can feel confident they will get appropriate care, quickly.”

La Porte Hospital first received Primary Stroke Certification in 2007 and has maintained the high standard of care required. The Joint Commission re-surveys hospitals regularly to insure they continue meeting their requirements and using the best practices recommended for treating stroke patients.

Signs of stroke include:

sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

sudden confusion

trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech

sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

sudden trouble walking

dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination

sudden severe headache with no know cause.

Call 911 and get to the nearest emergency department if a loved one experiences any of these signs.

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