Premier Healthcare Accrediting Body Awards PMC Stroke Care Gold Seal for
Parrish Medical Center’s recertification as a Primary Stroke Center
extends its first-in-Brevard County achievement for area patients endangered
by stroke’s potentially debilitating effects.
PMC’s latest Gold Seal of Approval® and Primary Stroke Center
designation was awarded by The Joint Commission, which accredits nearly
21,000 healthcare organizations globally.
“The Joint Commission established the Primary Stroke Center program
to set a care standard to protect and saves lives,” said George
Mikitarian, Parrish Medical Center president and CEO. “Meeting that
standard takes tremendous commitment, resources, and work, but we have
long dedicated ourselves to providing the highest levels of patient safety,
clinical quality, and healing patient experiences on behalf of the people
and communities we serve.
“This Joint Commission’s Gold Seal affirmation of PMC’s
quality stroke care means that patients and families can have confidence
in the objective measurement, accomplishment, and results, of PMC’s
treatment program,” Mikitarian added.
According to The Joint Commission, “The stroke program requirements
were developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American
Stroke Association. Applicants for advanced certification must meet the
requirements for Disease-Specific Care Certification plus additional,
clinically specific requirements and expectations.”
PMC in 2004 became the third Florida medical center – and Brevard’s
first – to reach Gold Seal certification for stroke care.
Every two years since 2004, The Joint Commission has evaluated PMC’s
stroke care treatment program on national standards and stringent performance
measures. The most recent evaluation, in 2017, resulted in the latest
“Reaching Joint Commission Gold Seal designation is one thing; keeping
it by meeting The Joint Commission’s requirements year-after-year
is another challenge,” said Edwin Loftin, PMC vice president of
Acute Care Services and chief nursing officer. “Constant focus and
improvement is essential because the faster and more effective the treatment,
the greater the chance to minimize a stroke’s effects or damage.”
“Stroke is a major cause of death and disability,” said David
Miller, MD, director, National Comprehensive Stroke Center, Mayo Clinic’s
Florida campus. “Stroke care has been greatly improved with new
drug therapies, including the clot busting agent tPA, administered in
appropriate patient populations. About 85 percent of strokes are due to
a blood clot blocking a blood vessel to the brain.”
PMC is a Mayo Clinic Care Network member, and Mayo Clinic is part of the
Parrish Healthcare integrated care team. In 2010, PMC became the first
hospital in Florida to participate in the Mayo Clinic telestroke program.
Via a self-propelled remote presence robot that stands five feet tall,
neurologists at Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Stroke Center in Jacksonville
can remotely evaluate acute stroke patients and assist with diagnosis
and treatment, despite them being more than 130 miles away.
Quick administration of a drug called tPA to dissolve a stroke-causing
blood clot and restore blood flow is part of The Joint Commission’s
standards followed by PMC, said Gregory P. Cuculino, MD, FACEP, Emergency
Department medical director.
“In many cases the drug results in the patient having minimal or
no neurological damage from the stroke,” said Dr. Cuculino, “It’s
one aspect of our approach to stroke care, which includes prevention,
treatment and rehabilitation while always working as a team.”
PMC’s team approach also includes Brevard’s Emergency Medical
“Partnering with PMC’s Emergency Department as part of its
stroke team ensures that life-saving measures are provided to patients
at the scene in the first few minutes of a stroke,” said Orlando
Dominguez, Jr., RMP, assistant chief of Emergency Medical Services Operations,
Brevard County Fire Rescue.
PMC’s Stroke Program includes:
- A team of neurologists, cardiologists, radiologists, emergency medicine
physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, first-responders (EMS/paramedics),
case management, therapists (occupational, speech, respiratory and physical),
and community educators.
- A stroke unit. Stroke unit nurses (along with ICU and ER nurses) undergo
extensive training to become certified in stroke assessment, treatment
and rehabilitation. They have annual continuing education requirements.
- PMC’s 14-bed Emergency Department, 12-bed critical care unit (ICU),
and full-service rehabilitation center.
- Advanced diagnostic technology, including telemedicine technology, ultra-speed
CT and MRI, which provides doctors with accurate results in minutes.
- Community education programs and screenings for stroke risk factors.
Signs of stroke are sudden:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination or trouble walking.
- Severe headache with no known cause.
An individual experiencing any of these signs, or someone observing an
individual dealing with one or more of these indicators, should call 911