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Cass Regional Medical Center Awarded Advanced Certification

Hospital news | Monday, March 4, 2019

Cass Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce that it has earned Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The certification recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a Primary or Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Cass Regional underwent a rigorous onsite review in December of 2018 to assess its compliance with the Joint Commission’s Advanced Disease-Specific Care certification requirements, including:

  • A dedicated stroke-focused program
  • Staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care
  • Collaboration with local emergency management agencies
  • 24/7 ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing
  • Ability to administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients
  • Availability of telemedicine technology

“Currently, nearly half of the population in the United States live 60 miles or more away from a Primary Stroke Center or Comprehensive Stroke Center,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, American Stroke Association. “If patients who experience an acute ischemic stroke can get treated with clot-busting medications quickly, more lives would be saved and more patients would have improved outcomes.”“This certification acts as important bridge and is a key component in an evolving system of stroke care,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “A Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association certified Acute Stroke Ready Hospital is the foundation for acute stroke care in many communities, allowing it to be the first stop on a patient’s acute stroke journey.”“We are proud to receive Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Chris Lang, CEO. “This certification demonstrates our entire organization’s commitment to providing a higher standard of service, right here in our own community, to stroke patients, while also closing the gap in access to acute stroke services.”

Cass Regional is pleased to partner with Research Medical Center of Kansas City to provide a higher level of stroke care through the use of a telemedicine “robot.” Utilizing the robot, Cass Regional's emergency staff confer with neurologists at Research Medical Center when a patient exhibits stroke symptoms. Through an Internet connection, the neurologist controls the in-room robot and is able to examine and speak with the patient and the emergency staff at the bedside. The versatile system, which includes a video monitor, camera, stethoscope and handset, allows neurologists affiliated with Research Medical Center to visualize data on the in-room vital sign monitors. Following initial testing and treatment at Cass Regional, patients are then transferred to Research Medical Center for comprehensive stroke care.

“It takes an accomplished team of professionals working together to ensure that people in Cass County, not just survive a stroke, but recover with as few lasting complications as possible,” said Research Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum. “Every second counts when it comes to a stroke and Research Medical Center is proud to deliver world-class technology and neurological resources through the TeleStroke Network to Cass Regional Medical Center and its patients. This new Acute Ready Certification is a significant step for this community and we are honored to be a part of this incredible partnership.”

“By completing the requirements needed for stroke certification, Cass Regional will be better prepared to care for patients with stroke symptoms when time is of the essence to diagnose and treat,” said Dr. Catherine White, medical director of Cass Regional’s Emergency Department.

Established in 2015, Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals. The certification was derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2005), “Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2011) and recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.