Higher level of stroke care earns Kaweah Delta national recognition
visalia – Having a stroke is a scary time in a person’s life. They are unsure what to do, what they will be able to do if they survive, and recovery treatment often times involves months of physical therapy and diligent care. But people who are having a stroke or a “mini stroke” are receiving a higher level of care at Kaweah Delta Medical Center. So much so that the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association believes Kaweah Delta is worthy of national recognition.
That higher level of care is helping people recover faster and giving them a better chance of survival while reducing disability. That’s because the Kaweah Delta team caring for them is following the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.
For following the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators and quality measures, Kaweah Delta will receive the national American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
Kaweah Delta performed higher than the AHA/ASA’s minimum requirements to receive the award. To qualify for the award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures. Measures include the amount of time it takes to provide stroke patients with clot busting medications, if indicated, and whether stroke patients are given smoking cessation advice, among others.
Stroke patients such as Agnes Dias, 81, of Visalia, are grateful for the care they received at Kaweah Delta. On Oct. 7, 2016, Agnes was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center; it was determined she was having a stroke, said Agnes’ daughter Annette. “We thought we were losing her – we thought that was it, but the care she received at Kaweah Delta and everybody’s hard work got her through,” she said.
Patients are at the heart of efforts to continually improve care at Kaweah Delta, said Dr. Edward Hirsch, Kaweah Delta’s Chief Medical and Quality Officer. “We are committed to a culture that delivers a personal, professional, and compassionate health care experience for every patient, every time,” Dr. Hirsch said. “This honor is a testament to the tireless work of our medical and hospital staff, who bring the highest levels of care to our community.”
In 2015, Kaweah Delta established a stroke team to improve care for stroke patients with a goal of becoming a primary stroke center through Joint Commission accreditation. On average, Kaweah Delta sees approximately 360-400 stroke patients and 150 TIA patients each year.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
To spot stroke signs, people should refer to the letters in “FAST” and know when to call 9-1-1:
F: Face Drooping
A: Arm Weakness
S: Speech Difficulty
T: Time to Call 911
For more information about stroke risk factors, signs, symptoms and treatment, visit www.kaweahdelta.org/stroke. To take a free health risk assessment to determine whether you are at risk for stroke, visit www.kaweahdelta.org and click on “Health Risk Assessments.