SwedishAmerican Stroke Program Affiliated with Certified Stroke Center

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- SwedishAmerican Hospital has just received word that its Telestroke partner, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, has joined an elite group as one of the first hospitals in the country to receive Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The groups began awarding their long-anticipated Comprehensive Stroke Center designation in October. UW Hospital, which was the first in the upper Midwest and in the first group in the nation to achieve the certification, provides stroke consultations to SwedishAmerican via The Wisconsin Telestroke Program.

The Joint Commission evaluated the hospital’s stroke diagnosis, treatment and care during a visit in September and announced its award in mid-November. UW Hospital already had achieved the Primary Stroke Center designation.

"We are proud to be affiliated with the University of Wisconsin, and congratulate them on this recognition," says SwedishAmerican Chief Quality Officer Dr. Kathleen Kelly. "Through the power of telemedicine, UW stroke neurologists are able to provide immediate assistance to our patients and emergency room personnel in situations when time is critical. This extra level of stroke-specific knowledge enhances patient safety and facilitates treatments that lead to better outcomes."

“We are so pleased that UW Hospital provides the highest level of care to its stroke patients,’’ says Donna Katen-Bahensky, hospital president and CEO. “The telestroke network allows UW Health to share this nationally recognized expertise with our partner hospitals without needlessly duplicating expensive services.”

Because quick action saves brain cells in stroke, The Joint Commission reviewed and documented every step of a stroke patient’s care, from first radio contact with the ambulance crew through the emergency department, imaging, neurology, neurosurgery, hospital care and rehabilitation. To meet the “comprehensive” standard, the hospital had to prove it was ready 24/7 to treat multiple complex stroke cases at the same time. Certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers must have advanced imaging and treatment capabilities, specialists on staff around the clock, specially trained staff and physicians, and faculty engaged in stroke research.

“Comprehensive stroke center certification recognizes the tremendous amount of interdisciplinary collaboration required to care for the most complex stroke patients in the Wisconsin region,’’ says Dr. Justin Sattin, medical director of the stroke program and a fellowship-trained stroke neurologist. “Our team has demonstrated an intense commitment to providing patient-centered, evidence-based care for this most vulnerable patient population.”

Earlier this year, SwedishAmerican earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ by demonstrating compliance with the organization’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety in several areas of disease-specific care, including: Stroke Care. SwedishAmerican first received the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care in 2008.

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