Parrish Medical Center Primary Stroke Center Re-certified by The Joint Commission

joint commissionParrish Medical Center (PMC) has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for primary stroke care.

PMC’s recertification as a Primary Stroke Center extends its first-in-Brevard County achievement for area patients endangered by stroke’s potentially debilitating effects.

“Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Parrish Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

“We congratulate Parrish Medical Center for this outstanding achievement,” says Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart/Stroke Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”

Stroke is a leading cause of death in Florida. Growing research shows, however, that stroke patients' outcomes can be significantly improved when they receive treatment from an organized stroke system of care.

“The Joint Commission established the Primary Stroke Center program to set a care standard to protect and saves lives,” said George Mikitarian, PMC president & 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.

In 2010, PMC became the first hospital in Florida to participate in the Mayo Clinic telestroke program. Via a 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.

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.”

Hospitals began to apply voluntarily for PSC certification from the Joint Commission in 2003 in response to proposed organized stroke system of care by the Brain Attack Coalition in 2000. The proposed stroke system of care promotes EMS routing acute patients to Primary Stroke Centers (PSCs), and Comprehensive Stroke Centers able to provide proven stroke care reliably and rapidly.

In 2004 PMC became the first health system in Brevard and third in the state of Florida to earn The Joint Commission’s PSC certification. And, every two years since 2004, The Joint Commission has evaluated and recertified PMC’s PSC. The most recent evaluation, in 2019, resulted in the latest recertification.

Effective July 1, 2019, Senate Bill 1460 mandates hospitals to be stroke certified by a nationally recognized certifying organization that is approved by AHCA by July 1, 2021. The Joint Commission PSC certification meets this requirement.

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