ETMC's stroke care program recertified as primary stroke center

ETMC's stroke care program recertified as primary stroke center

ETMC Tyler's stroke care program has been recertified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations with a Gold Seal of Approval.™

ETMC Tyler was the first hospital in East Texas and one of the first in Texas to receive this designation in 2005 with recertifications in 2007 and 2009. ETMC voluntarily pursued this designation in part because of the alarming rate of stroke-related deaths in East Texas. The Joint Commission conducted an on-site review this spring to review compliance with national standards, clinical guidelines and outcomes of care.

"The East Texas region has one of the highest stroke rates in our state," said Todd Sigmon, ETMC Neurological Institute vice president. "Since part of the effort to earn the certification includes a focus on stroke prevention, we believe it will help us meet our goal to help change that factor in our region."

To qualify as a certified center a facility must establish standardized stroke protocols to assure consistent care for all stroke patients. Physicians and staff must also be educated in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke, and systems for continuous quality improvement must also be in place. "Our quality assurance efforts include a continuous review of patient data to determine ways to improve outcomes," Sigmon said.

Additionally, educational and prevention efforts must be conducted for the general public. "ETMC conducts screenings regularly to help pinpoint problems that may lead to stroke, and we have an ongoing series of community education forums called KnowledgeFirst. Topics on stroke and vascular conditions are regularly included," Sigmon said.

Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death.  Over 143,579 people die each year from stroke in the United States. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about five million stroke survivors.