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Published on August 02, 2012

Stroke care recognized at Spartanburg Regional

Spartanburg Regional was awarded accreditation from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), an independent, recognized accreditation authority.

Spartanburg Regional has established a partnership with Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) to seek Primary Stroke Center Certification for its quality-driven stroke process of care program. The certification is based on evidenced based nationally established standards.

Spartanburg Regional was the first certified Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center in S.C. in 2005. The commitment to continuous excellence in stroke care was demonstrated during an on-site survey on December 7, 2009 by HFAP.

HFAP initiated a Primary Stroke Certification program in 2006 using recommendations from the Brain Attack Coalition as the foundation for its standards. Moving forward, HFAP has also endorsed the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines as a tool for patient management and performance measure.

"Because South Carolina is in the ‘Stroke Belt,’ we have a much higher incidence of stroke-related deaths," said Carol Kooistra, M.D., a neurologist and medical director of the Spartanburg Regional Stroke Program. "Our program incorporates technology from diagnosis to treatment to reduce the lasting after-effects of stroke."

Among the healthcare system’s efforts is the creation of a Stroke Response Team, which assembles to control and monitor stroke victims brought into the system’s new emergency center or those who develop a stroke while already an inpatient at the hospital.

The team’s quick response to assess a patient’s needs is just one facet of the Spartanburg Regional program, Debby Bridgeman, stroke clinical case manager, said. With education, many strokes can be prevented or at least treated quickly.

"The team has to respond quickly to care for that person who is having a stroke. Time is of the essence," Bridgeman said. "That’s why everyone must recognize the signs of a stroke and learn to act promptly and emergently."

A stroke may be occurring if the patient experiences a sudden weakness, numbness or paralysis, especially on one side of the body, blurred or double vision, difficulty speaking, loss of balance and dizziness, accompanied by a headache.

Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) is one of only three national voluntary accreditation programs authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to survey hospitals for compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation and Coverage.

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