Texas Health Fort Worth becomes First U.S. Hospital to Earn Prestigious Recognition
March 29, 2022
Joint Commission’s Neurotrauma Certification notes consistently safe, high-quality care

FORT WORTH, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is the first facility in the U.S. to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Neurotrauma Certification. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a healthcare organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care and demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards.

Christopher Shank, M.D.

Christopher Shank, M.D., serves as medical director of the Neurotrauma Program at Texas Health Fort Worth.

“This certification holds the program accountable to providing high-level patient care,” said Christopher Shank, M.D., a neurosurgeon on the Texas Health Fort Worth medical staff. A member of Texas Health Neurosurgery and Spine Specialists, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice,* Shank also serves as the Neurotrauma Program medical director.

“Healthcare is a team sport that requires input from every single member to be successful. I’m very fortunate to lead a team of medical staff physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and a variety of hospital staff — each dedicated to the compassionate care of neurotrauma patients.”

The recent certification recognizes Texas Health Resources’ commitment to providing high-acuity neuroscience services throughout North Texas.

“Our neuroscience programs offer advanced technologies and compassionate care for North Texans facing injuries that affect the brain and nervous system, and we’re truly dedicated to providing great care to our community,” said Kirk King, Texas Health’s executive vice president and hospital channel chief operating officer. “This recent certification documents what we’ve known all along. Our multidisciplinary team of caregivers offer the broad perspective and deep experience necessary to care for the sickest patients in their time of need.”

The certification also recognizes healthcare organizations that provide clinical programs for neurotrauma patients. The certification also evaluates how organizations use clinical outcomes and performance measures to identify opportunities to improve care, as well as to educate and prepare patients and their caregivers for discharge.

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, every nine seconds a person in the U.S. falls victim to a brain injury, resulting in more than 3.5 million injuries each year. 

Texas Health Fort Worth has been providing neurological care to the community for decades. In 2016, Texas Health Fort Worth was the first brain tumor program in the state of Texas — and just the second in the nation — certified by The Joint Commission. The unit has 22 ICU beds and offers extensive neurotrauma services and complex spine services. Soon, the 36-bed general care neurosurgical unit will move to the newly constructed Jane and John Justin Tower, and surgeons on the medical staff will have access to 15 surgery suites in the nine-story tower.

Texas Health Fort Worth’s Neurotrauma Program addresses brain and spine trauma and provides patients with operative and nonoperative techniques. Shank said neuro-monitoring devices help monitor blood flow to the injured brain and spinal cord and allow for the treatment of dangerous post-injury swelling.

“The program also focuses on detecting and treating brain swelling after injury, which works to prevent secondary injury and improve neurological outcome,” Shank said.

At a national level, the Centers for Disease Control estimates between 3.2 million and 5.3 million Americans are living with a traumatic brain injury. “Those unfortunate numbers put into perspective why Texas Health Fort Worth is dedicated to providing the best possible patient care for some of the most complex patients — individuals with brain and spine injuries,” Shank said.

To earn the two-year certification, Texas Health Fort Worth underwent a rigorous, unannounced on-site review in early January. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards, including program management, supporting self-management and the hospital’s efficiency in delivering and facilitating comprehensive neurotrauma care.

Learn more about how Texas Health is advancing neurological care throughout North Texas.

*Physicians employed by Texas Health Physician Group practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Resources hospitals. 

About Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 29 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute-care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.  

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