“It’s a huge step for Dixie Regional Medical Center and for this region to receive this advanced certification,” said Luciana De Saibro, MD, neurologist and stroke director at Dixie Regional.
Dixie Regional is now one of nine hospitals in the state of Utah to be certified as a primary stroke center. A Joint Commission expert reviewed Dixie Regional’s compliance with the requirements for The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as primary stroke center requirements, such as collecting Joint Commission core measure data and using it for performance improvement activities.
“The high degree of collaboration that’s required among all the departments at Dixie Regional to become certified reflects the multi-disciplinary team approach and commitment to quality that our patients receive, in the greater St. George community,” said Deborah Wyatt, stroke coordinator at Dixie Regional.
Developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association and launched in 2003, The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification program is based on the Brain Attack Coalition's "Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers." Certification is available only to stroke programs in Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.
“Dixie Regional is thoroughly committed to providing our patients the highest quality stroke care centered on current scientific research to ensure continued improvement in treatment,” said Terri Kane, Intermountain Southwest Region Vice President. “In addition to The Joint Commission accreditation, the primary stroke center certification has given us the opportunity to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide for our patients, and help us improve care overall for our community.”
Dixie Regional will be able to display The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association Heart-Check mark for their Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. Displaying the seal and Heart-Check mark signifies that Dixie Regional is providing the “next generation of stroke or heart failure care,” and will help patients easily identify this facility as one of quality that has surpassed numerous goals in the treatment of stroke.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of stroke should call 911. These include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden, severe headache with no cause.
“Whether a bleeding stroke or stroke due to a clot (ischemic stroke), the sooner you seek medical care the more options there will be to help treat the stroke and the complications that come from having a stroke,” said Dr. Brett Christiansen, clinical program director of intensive medicine at Dixie Regional.
Dr. Christiansen strongly urges prevention of stroke though healthy lifestyle habits. “Individuals should start now in reducing their risk factors by losing weight, having a healthier diet, reducing their cholesterol levels, quitting smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, and exercising more,” said Dr. Christiansen. “Doing these things will not only significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke, but will decrease your risk of having a heart attack, developing liver and kidney disease, and reduce your chance of developing depression."
For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Center visit http://www.jointcommission.org/ or www.heart.org/myhospital.