March 8, 2012
RCH Press Room
REDLANDS, CA. – After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Redlands Community Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for certification as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center.
“In stroke care, time is brain function,” said Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “By achieving certification as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, Redlands Community Hospital has proven that it has the ability to provide effective, timely care to stroke victims and can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.”
Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.
“We’re proud to achieve this special distinction from The Joint Commission,” said James Holmes, president and CEO of Redlands Community Hospital. “It validates our commitment to providing the best possible care to our patients and our community.”
Redlands Community physicians say the Distinction underscores the hospital’s hyper-vigilant focus on preventing, diagnosing and treating stroke. “Many of us refer to stroke as a brain attack today because we want people to think of stroke as an emergency medical situation,” said Dr. Phong Nguyen, an emergency room physician and co-medical director of the Stroke Program at Redlands Community Hospital. “We want residents to recognize stroke symptoms and call 911 if they think they are suffering a stroke. We have many medicines and tools today to reverse the damage for stroke but time is of the essence.”
Symptoms of stroke can be subtle or immediately devastating. Dr. Robert Klein, a neurologist and co-medical director of the hospital’s Stroke Program, said learning the “FAST” diagnostic tool may be families identify stroke sooner. FAST stands for Face (do you notice someone’s smile droop); Arms (does one arm not move like the other); Speech (is the person’s speech slurred or strange) and Time (call 911 if you notice any of these signs). “Awareness of stroke symptoms could mean the difference between life and death or severe disability,” said Dr. Klein.
The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements and guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program—the nation’s first—in 2003. A list of programs certified by The Joint Commission is available at www.qualitycheck.org.