Fisher-Titus Medical Center has been awarded Primary Stroke Certification from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP). Primary Stroke Certification serves as a notice that Fisher-Titus has the capacity to stabilize and treat acute stroke patients, provide acute care, and administer tPA and other acute therapies safely and efficiently.
“This certification signifies that Fisher-Titus has demonstrated its commitment to providing excellent stroke care to its patients,” said Dr. Lawrence Haspel, chairman of the Bureau of Healthcare Facilities Accreditation for the HFAP. “Hospitals that have established stroke centers have demonstrated improved treatment, better patient outcomes and reduced costs. Additionally, Primary Stroke Centers have the required infrastructure and protocols in place to stabilize and provide initial time-sensitive treatments, then transfer to partnering hospitals able to provide rapid and evidence-based care to acute stroke patients.”
The HFAP has been certifying stroke centers since 2006 and currently offers the most options for facilities seeking stroke care certification. The HFAP is the nation’s only accreditation program that certifies the full Stroke Continuum — Stroke Ready, Primary Stroke and Comprehensive Stroke. The HFAP stroke certification differs from other certification programs in that it provides a three-year certification award with a mid-cycle review at 18 months. In addition, for reimbursement eligibility, hospitals must submit quarterly clinical performance measures to the HFAP office and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In order to achieve Primary Stroke Certification, Fisher-Titus had to meet the following standards:
- The program director must have extensive experience in acute stroke
- Stroke code team arrival at bedside must be within 15 minutes
- Lab testing and advanced imaging capabilities must be available 24/7
- Must have access to neurologists 24/7
- Must have neurosurgical expertise available or able to transfer patients within two hours
- Must have a designation stroke unit
- Staff must meet education requirements
“We are proud to achieve the prestigious the HFAP Primary Stroke Certification. Our staff has worked tirelessly to achieve this certification and it reflects our dedication to excellent patient care and service,” said Fisher-Titus President Lorna Strayer. “In awarding us Primary Stroke Certification, HFAP has provided us with the opportunity to celebrate the exceptional stroke care we provide to our patients and our commitment to the well-being of our community and surrounding communities.”
Fisher-Titus Medical Center has been a Primary Stroke Center through HFAP since November 2011. Prior to that, Fisher-Titus was certified as a Primary Stroke Center through the Joint Commission since 2007.
The Medical Center’s highly skilled stroke team includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, rehabilitation specialists, clinical research managers, quality specialists and education coordinators.
“In 2015, Fisher-Titus introduced telehealth in the emergency department setting to aid in the stroke process,” said Dr. Shankar Kurra, senior vice president of medical affairs at Fisher-Titus. To enhance its highly skilled stroke care, Fisher-Titus Medical Center has joined the University of Toledo Stroke Network, a collaborative network of hospitals connected to a central hub hospital, the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC), which has expertise in all aspects of stroke management. Using high-quality teleconferencing equipment, members of the UTMC Stroke Network team are able to work in tandem with emergency department physicians to perform a virtual examination on a stroke patient; view radiological studies; talk with family members and develop a treatment plan, all known as telestroke technology.
“We always want to provide our patients with the best available health care,” Dr. Kurra said. “The best health care is collaborative — expert providers working together to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient. This network is designed to do just that: we can expand patient access to university-level care and research. And, when time is of the essence, our patients can be treated quickly if direct intervention is required without having to be transferred to a larger hospital.”