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News

Samaritan Medical Center Awarded Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission

Published on: February 6, 2020

Samaritan Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Primary Stroke Center Certification by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

The certification recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of stroke care.  The certification 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.

Samaritan Medical Center underwent a rigorous onsite review in November 2019. During the visit, a Joint Commission reviewer evaluated compliance with related certification including: specific stroke core measures, program management through Get with the Guidelines, and delivering and facilitating clinical stroke care.  Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Samaritan Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

“A stroke is a medical emergency that needs a quality team to identify, assess and begin treatment to help stop the damage,” states Dr. Mario Victoria, Samaritan Medical Center Chief Medical Officer. “Reaching this level of designation as a Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission is a testament to the quality stroke care Samaritan can provide locally. The level of detail, training and sheer determination from the clinical staff to reach this level of designation is humbling as the Chief Medical Officer.”

Samaritan prepared for its Primary Stroke Center Certification by taking many valuable steps and learning from other experts in the field.  Preparation included:

  • Demonstrating compliance with the set of clinical practice guidelines required. The guidelines are specific to the care and outcomes of patients that may experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA), cerebrovascular accident (CVA), or a hemorrhagic stroke. This assists organizations in establishing a consistent approach to care, reducing variation and the risk of error, along with improving patient outcomes.
  • Educating staff in the care of the stroke patient with evidence-based guidelines.
  • Developing policy and procedures.
  • Implementing a performance improvement committee for ongoing process improvement.
  • Providing 24/7 acute stroke team with ability to provide IV clot buster medication with close monitoring from highly qualified staff.
  • Establishing collaboration with Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
  • Establishing collaboration with the State and Regional Stroke Centers.
  •  Committing to providing high-quality patient care from the onset of symptoms to rehabilitation.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission’s website.


Joint Commission and AHA joint Primary Stroke Icon