Rockledge, FL (November 9, 2017) – The stroke program at Rockledge Regional Medical Center earned high marks from the Joint Commission after the accreditation and certification organization recently conducted a thorough onsite survey and evaluation.
Every two years, the nationally recognized Joint Commission administers a survey to rate the effectiveness of a hospital’s stroke program. The result of the sweeping, comprehensive evaluation for Rockledge Regional this year was one of the medical center’s best.
“We’ve been doing the right things at the right times,” said Pamela Johnson, stroke program coordinator at Rockledge Medical Center. “This survey yielded outstanding results, the best we’ve ever had and that’s a testament to our team and our focus on delivering excellent care.”
Of note, Rockledge Regional received positive evaluations of its patient care, continuing care, follow up, best practices, lab, X-ray and all other critical areas of the stroke program.
The Joint Commission provides accreditation to more than 21,000 healthcare organizations across the United States. The rigorous examination takes an entire day to complete.
The organization audits the work of physicians and nurses, the quality of care, administration of medicine and many other aspects of a hospital’s program.
“I’m so proud of our team and the work everybody does,” said Johnson, a family nurse practitioner who holds two masters degrees. “You hear people talk about teamwork a lot, but this really is a team in every sense, working extremely hard for the patients.”
Johnson said the stroke program is designed to run smoothly and efficiently, from the initial entry of a patient into emergency to follow-up after the patient returns home. When emergency patients show any of the symptoms of stroke, the emergency personnel immediately ask a battery of questions and administer tests. “The patients are always the central focus, they are our number one priority at all times,” Johnson said.
The stroke program has been effective in narrowing the time it takes to get a stroke patient from the hospital door into treatment, or “door to needle.” Johnson said the national goal is 60 minutes, soon to become 45 minutes – a number Rockledge Regional has already been beating. “We set a goal to improve our average time to 45 minutes one year ago; today our average is below the 45 minutes, and for the month of September, our average was 41 minutes,” Johnson said. “This is teamwork.”
“Among the most important information the program seeks to convey,” Johnson said, “are the early warning signs of stroke: slurred speech, severe headache, numbness on one side of the body, facial droop.” The program’s stroke prevention also involves the education of patients with regard to diet, smoking cessation and blood pressure issues.
“Our team works together as a unit to provide the patients with efficient, quality care,” Johnson said. “That’s always been our goal.”