We are excited to announce to the community that on March 12, 2012, Day Kimball Hospital was designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. We're proud of our team who made this happen and who provide quality care for stroke patients.
Below is a summary of our process to achieve Primary Stroke Center Designation; where you can learn more about our commitment to stroke care, purpose, program development, implementation and survey process:
DKH Primary Stroke Designation
I. Commitment to Stroke Care
Day Kimball Hospital is committed, in conjunction with UMass Memorial Medical Center - with its dedicated stroke unit, neurointensivists, stroke team, telestroke and neurosurgery - to providing comprehensive care for all patients presenting with stroke symptoms, in our community and the surrounding communities we serve. Based on national and state guidelines, this provision of care will be evidence based and predicated on meeting expected performance measures to improve patient outcomes. Demonstration of our commitment to this care will be evidenced by an administrative infrastructure to support and guide the process of caring for this population of patients, clinical practice guidelines and policies reflecting an interdisciplinary approach to care, and education for staff, patients and families, community and the EMS system. Quality improvement initiatives will serve to provide ongoing assessment and evaluation of our performance in caring for these patients.
To develop a comprehensive stroke program, in conjunction with UMass Memorial Medical Center, to meet the needs of the patient presenting with stroke symptoms, regardless of whether the patient is an inpatient or presenting to the emergency department. It should be noted that Day Kimball Hospital has been caring for stroke patients according to prescribed guidelines and protocols for many years. The intent is to formalize this process and establish recognition for those standards.
III. Development of the Infrastructure
a. Core Stroke Team: This team is a multidisciplinary group, including the program medical director and stroke coordinator, charged with the purpose of developing, implementing and administering the stroke program.
b. Acute Stroke Team: A group of individuals made up of physicians, nurses and radiologists who have been educated in stroke care and provide the immediate early management of the stroke patient. Laboratory and radiology personnel are a part of this group as well.
IV. Development of the Program
a. Establishing a relationship/contract with a comprehensive stroke facility for transfer of patients requiring a higher level of care.
b. Development of practice guidelines and policies based on the American Stroke Association’s recommendations for care of the stroke patient.
c. Development of forms for documentation of stroke care reflective of guidelines and standards.
d. Establishing the technological system to support telecommunications for remote neurologic evaluation.
e. Fostering and supporting the EMS relationship to promote cohesiveness and continuity of care.
i. EMS: to promote understanding of and compliance with hospital standards of care. To educate regarding warning signs of stroke and quick evaluation of the patient for neurologic deficits.
ii. Staff: To provide all nurses caring for stroke patients with an understanding of the process and guidelines for early management of the stroke victim.
iii. Physicians: Ensure physicians are aware of the standards and assist in compliance with performance indicators.
iv. Patients/Families: Patient education packets constructed with information specific to the American Stroke Association’s recommendations for patients and families.
v. Community: The intent is to increase awareness of stroke warning signs and risk factors.
Although care of these patients had been ongoing according to the standards, educating regarding the formal process and aggregating the data needed to support our effective practice, needed to be established. This took several months to accomplish. Implementation consisted of supporting staff through the process of caring for these patients and providing them with the tools needed to expedite care.
VI. Survey Process
a. State of Connecticut Department of Public Health survey date was February 27, 2012.
b. Prior to the survey, the application and all pertinent documentation was reviewed by the surveyor. Review of practice guidelines and stroke specific criteria enabled a 2 hour review. The surveyor looked to see that we were able to care for the patient with stroke symptoms throughout the continuum of care – from the time the patient presents to the ED until discharge – whether from the emergency department or from the inpatient unit.
c. Received official notification on March 12, 2012, of successful completion of all primary stroke criteria, with the designation as a primary stroke center.