About Atrium Stroke Program
The Atrium Medical Center (Atrium) Stroke Program is one of only 37 hospitals in the state to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, earning the Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care. The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting organization in health care.
To achieve this certification, our Stroke Program met rigorous patient care standards. Specifically, the Atrium Stroke Program has demonstrated:
- Compliance with strict national standards
- Effective use of primary stroke center recommendations and clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care
- Performance measurement and improvement activities
Acute Stroke Care
The Atrium Acute Stroke Program is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with immediate response when a patient with stroke symptoms enters Atrium's Emergency Trauma Center (ETC). The Acute Stroke team is directed by a stroke fellowship-trained neurologist and includes:
- An emergency room physician
- The stroke program coordinator
The Acute Stroke team collaborates with six staff neurologists and all of the ETC physicians and staff. The team is alerted by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) on their way to the hospital. If the patient arrives at the ETC by non-EMS transportation, our staff is trained to identify symptoms and notify the Acute Stroke team immediately.
Stroke experts across Premier Health use telemedicine - a powerful new tool to speed definitive care to patients experiencing acute strokes. Atrium has telemedicine devices in its Emergency Trauma Center and Intensive Care Unit. These devices allow the team of stroke neurologists to consult remotely using a two-way video terminal wheeled to the patient's bedside. From their own notebook computer, the neurologists can “see” the patient, ask questions and view CT scans - all in real-time - to assess the patient's condition and help the on-site physician determine if the patient is a candidate for clot-dissolving medication or another form of acute stroke therapy.
Collaboration with EMS
The EMS team is often the first responder to patients who are suffering from stroke. That’s why we train our EMS professionals to recognize stroke symptoms and provide immediate treatment. They look for and document specific data to provide valuable information to the Acute Care Stroke Team when entering the ETC.
Once the diagnosis is made, our stroke team works to develop a treatment plan. This team collaborates with physicians and specialists from the following fields:
- Social services
Should neurosurgery or radiological interventions be deemed necessary, our team is ready to transfer the patient to a nearby facility as quickly as possible.
Focus on Performance Improvement
As part of the certification process as a Primary Stroke Center, The Joint Commission requires that programs give focused attention to improving their patient care services. The Stroke Performance Improvement Team meets bi-monthly and reviews any new standards or guidelines in the area of stroke care, examines process issues, and develops action plans to improve stroke care.