GRMC Designated Stroke-Ready

Last Updated on Jan 6, 2017 at 2:03pm | Health & Social

Garrett Regional Medical Center has been awarded the Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designation by the Joint Commission, a regulatory agency that ensures a commitment to quality and adherence to specific performance standards in providing emergent stroke care.
According to Maryland Vital Statistics for 2014 and the 2016 Garrett County Health Department Status of Health Report, cerebrovascular incidents, a type of stroke, is the cause of 6.3 percent of all deaths in Garrett County. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, following heart disease and cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also listed as being the leading source of disability in the nation.
“Stroke is an emergency that attacks the brain, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Quick evaluation and appropriate treatment is vital for the patient’s survival and recovery,” said Dr. Mark Domenick, stroke care medical director at GRMC. “Receiving treatment in the emergency room within three hours of the first symptoms leads to much better outcomes than those who delay seeking treatment.”
Knowing the symptoms of stoke is important so that timely treatment is not delayed. The acronym F.A.S.T. is used to help people remember what to look for — face: look for an uneven smile or drooping eye; arm: check if one arm is weak; speech: listen for slurred speech or inability to speak; time: call 911 immediately.
“The Garrett Regional Medical Center Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital Certification program is using Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Program in collaboration with the American Heart Association. This is an in-hospital performance improvement methodology for monitoring and improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines,” said Kendra Thayer, vice president patient care services at GRMC.
Jeff Hinebaugh, nurse manager of the emergency services department, said, “All patients are assessed and triaged by a registered nurse with needs determined and prioritized according to their clinical needs. Physicians are called to the patient’s bedside immediately for patients with signs and symptoms of stroke. Patients who meet criteria may be given Alteplase (the clot-busting drug).”
Standards established by the Joint Commission improve the overall quality of patient care in hospitals with its emphasis on clinical practice guidelines that help to establish a consistent approach to health care.