Monday, February 21, 2011
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., — Mayo Clinic was awarded the Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care and re-accredited as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission (TJC) following an on-site review conducted Friday, Feb. 18.
Joint Commission certification means the program complies with the national standards in the implementation of established clinical practice guidelines, performance measurements and continuous improvement programs for the care of stroke patients.
The center, which was relocated to Mayo Clinic's new hospital on its San Pablo Road campus in April 2008 from St. Luke's Hospital, was first certified by TJC as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center in December 2004. Mayo Clinic is also certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). There are only sixteen other stroke centers in the state of Florida that have received this designation.
"These certifications are national recognition of our excellence in caring for stroke patients. Patients can be assured of certain standards regarding diagnosis, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, with the ultimate goal of reducing the time between stroke onset and treatment," says Mayo Clinic neurologist James Meschia, M.D., the stroke center's medical director. "Additionally, part of what distinguishes Mayo Clinic's Primary Stroke Center from other facilities is our advanced diagnostic capabilities and treatments for routine brain attacks as well as complex stroke cases."
Each year more than 700,000 people experience a nationwide. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. Last year, more than 400 stroke patients were treated by Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, which continues to expand and enhance its stroke services.
The clinic recently increased its interventional neurosurgery staff, welcoming Rabih G. Tawk, M.D., and has increased other support services to ensure it continues to provide the best care for stroke patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mayo Clinic's stroke program began in 2003 with the mission to provide the best care to every patient through clinical practice, research and education. The program includes a multidisciplinary team of physicians from emergency medicine, neurology, neurosurgery and interventional radiology as well as nursing and rehabilitation services, pharmacy, radiology and social work. The program participates in numerous clinical trials in stroke prevention, treatment and genetics and is associated with Mayo Clinic's neurology residency program.
Additionally, Mayo Clinic's stroke team supports a telemedicine program that is able to remotely evaluate suspected stroke patients in centers where vascular neurology expertise is not immediately available. Since the telemedicine program began in May of 2010, more than 120 patients have been evaluated with intravenous clot-busting medicine with treatment rates exceeding 10 percent, higher than the national average. The initiative also facilitates urgent transfer of acute stroke patients to Mayo Clinic's center in Jacksonville for endovascular and open neurosurgical stroke treatments.
The Joint Commission is an independent not-for-profit organization and the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. It evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 health-care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 7,800 hospitals and home-care organizations.
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Cindy N. Weiss
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