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Arlington Memorial Hospital’s Stroke Care Program earns certification from The Joint Commission
06/24/2008

ARLINGTON, Texas – Arlington Memorial Hospital has taken the lead in treating patients with stroke symptoms, earning the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for the hospital’s Primary Stroke Center.

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On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to ensure that patients have the best possible outcome after experiencing a stroke. This prestigious advanced certification demonstrates the hospital’s expertise in quickly treating stroke patients.

“We’re proud to achieve this important distinction,” said Kirk King, FACHE, president of Arlington Memorial Hospital. “Certification as a Primary Stroke Center recognizes our ongoing commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community.”

Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death, according to The Joint Commission. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

Symptoms of stroke must be recognized FAST:

F – Facial Droop. When the individual smiles, does one side of their face droop?

A – Arm Drift. When the individual raises both arms, does one arm drift downward?

S – Slurred Speech. When the individual repeats a sentence, are any of the words slurred?

T – Time is Key. If a person shows any of the above symptoms, call 9-1-1.

Dr. Kevin Conner

Kevin Conner, M.D., is medical director of Arlington Memorial Hospital’s stroke program.

“Diagnostic tests such as lab work and CT scans are tagged as high priority to assist in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients,” said Kevin Conner, M.D., medical director of Arlington Memorial Hospital’s stroke program. “Knowing that timing is everything when it comes to treating stroke, we’re extremely proud of this accomplishment.”

Arlington Memorial Hospital’s comprehensive stroke program begins in the Emergency Department, where patients are rapidly triaged and diagnostic tests are fast-tracked, leading to early intervention. After treatment, individualized rehabilitation helps patients regain their strength, mobility and function.

“Not only did we receive certification, but they recognized several of our processes as best practices,” says Hoyt Frenzel, M.D., medical director of the hospital’s emergency services. “They were particularly impressed with our emergency department process to have a physician promptly screen stroke patients.”

The Joint Commission

Arlington Memorial Hospital earned this certification after the Joint Commission conducted an on-site review. The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements/guidelines for stroke care.

About Arlington Memorial Hospital
Arlington Memorial Hospital is a 417-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Arlington and the surrounding communities since 1958. Services include comprehensive cardiac care, an electrophysiology lab, women’s services, orthopedics, GI, an advanced imaging center, extensive rehabilitation services, emergency services, health maintenance and disease prevention classes, support groups and community service programs.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR’s family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.

About the Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more then 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 8,000 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,800 other health care organizations that provide long term care, assisted living, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also accredits health plans, integrated delivery networks, and other managed care entities. In addition, the Joint Commission provides certification of disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about the Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

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