Saline Memorial receives award
The Arkansas Stroke Registry and the Arkansas Department of Health recently recognized Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) for outstanding stroke care performance. Awards were given to hospitals who met 90 percent or more of the stroke care performance measures for stroke patients treated between July 2013 and June 2014.
The performance measures are American Heart Association/American Stroke Association-endorsed quality and achievement measures of the Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Patient Management Tool. The measures are benchmarked according to the standards of evidence-based stroke care guidelines to assure stroke patients receive appropriate and timely care. These patient care standards, independently reviewed by the Arkansas Stroke Registry (ASR), represent the most current, innovative treatments available to stroke patients in the United States. Saline Memorial Hospital was one of only 25 Arkansas hospitals to receive this recognition.
Until 2012, stroke ranked as the third leading cause of death in Arkansas. Improved stroke care provided by hospitals in Arkansas, in collaboration with EMS and public health partners, has served to lower stroke’s rank to the fourth leading cause of death in the state in 2013. According to data collected from the ASR, defect-free care provided by ASR hospitals increased from 54.8 percent in 2012, to 59.9 percent in 2014, and in-hospital stroke deaths decreased 8.3 percent between 2012 and 2014. The ASR recognizes that improved stroke care at participating hospitals is reflected by data showing better performance and reduced stroke mortality.
SMH has been involved with the Arkansas SAVES program since 2009. This clinical program links emergency room doctors at participating hospitals to specially trained vascular neurologists via live, two-way video, available 24-hours a day. Led by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Center for Distance Health, the program helps ensure timely treatment of stroke patients. Hospitals that are selected to participate in the AR SAVES Program are equipped with telemedicine technology, training for personnel, support for dedicated telestroke coordinator and ongoing education.
“We urge everyone to educate themselves on the signs of stroke which include: facial droop or uneven smile, arm numbness or weakness or slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding,” said Lee Lessenberry, SMH trauma program manager and AR SAVES nurse facilitator. “Do not ignore any of these symptoms, even if they go away – take action immediately. The symptoms of stroke may mimic other medical conditions or problems. If you are experiencing any of these stroke symptoms, dial 911 immediately.”
“Patients coming through our Emergency Department can have confidence in the level of care available for stroke patients,” said Lessenberry. “Through the Arkansas SAVES partnership, we’ve seen great outcomes for very critical stroke patients in our community. Through our participation in the Arkansas Stroke Registry and the Get With The Guidelines Program, we receive the external benchmarking and validation that we are exceeding the standards of care for stroke patients as reflected in this award.”
Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) is a full-service, 167-bed non-profit community hospital that has served Saline County and the surrounding areas for more than 58 years. SMH provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services, including but not limited to, cardiology, women’s services, weight loss surgery, pediatrics, orthopedics, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, adult and geriatric psychiatry, hospice and home health, sleep disorders and wound care. For more information, visit salinememorial.org.