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Capital Region Medical Center awarded Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission

Hospital news | Thursday, December 1, 2022

Contact: Alaina Winship

Capital Region Medical Center (CRMC) has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Stroke Center Certification.

CRMC underwent a rigorous, unannounced, onsite review on August 16, 2022. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards, including adherence to up-to-date clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of stroke patients. The program was evaluated for its delivery of care through the entire continuum of service, whether the patient arrived at the emergency room by emergency medical services or by private vehicle; the progression of the patient’s treatment from arrival through discharge was evaluated to make sure the patient was receiving the best standard of care and adhere to the clinical practice guidelines – examples being program management and delivering/facilitating clinical care. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend CRMC for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

Sharmila Suri, MD, neurologist at Capital Region, said, “I am very proud of our stroke team for their dedication to providing the highest quality of care to our stroke patients. In the event of a stroke, time matters, and our team responds quickly – either administering tPA within the 4.5-hour window following the onset of symptoms or prepping them for transfer to undergo clot retrieval.” Dr. Suri added that CRMC has “excellent post-tPA care provided by intensivists, as well as a dedicated inpatient rehabilitation for stroke patients.”
Vice President of Nursing, Janet Pestle, DNP, shared that “Capital Region Medical Center is proud to offer award-winning stroke care. Our teams represent the highest standard of care in the industry and work hard to provide that same high-quality care to our patients. These certifications indicate our strong commitment to our patients and community to service excellence.”

Harathi Bandaru, MD, MS, FACP, FACG added, "I am very proud to be part of an award-winning stroke care team. Dr. Suri and I are both committed physicians, working alongside great team members including excellent nurses, stroke coordinator Joyce Miloro and quality improvement coordinator Jennifer Thomas.”

Capital Region Medical Center has been a certified Level II Stroke Center since 2018 through the Missouri Time Critical Diagnosis program by the Department of Health and Senior Services. CRMC chose certification through The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center to strengthen its program with consistent, best-practice standards, to better serve the community.

CRMC prepared for the onsite Joint Commission, Primary Stroke Center review by performing a gap analysis of current practices, policies, and procedures, to ascertain they were aligned with the current Clinic Practice Guidelines for the treatment of stroke patients. The gap analysis was mainstreamed by using resource tools from the Joint Commission, Advance Disease-Specific Care - Certification Standards, and Organization Review Process Guide.

CRMC kept moving forward with process improvements already set in place and continued to collect stroke data that measured performance throughout the continuum of patients’ care. The data was then used to determine where improvements could be made to provide the highest quality of care for each individual that comes to CRMC. Dr. Bandaru said they introduced new power plans and required blood pressure control guidelines, especially in stroke patients.

“With a variety of specialties under one roof and a commitment to improving the wellness of our community, stroke patients will receive the highest quality of care at Capital Region Medical Center,” said Dr. Suri.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.