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Vidant Bertie Hospital earns advanced certification

WINDSOR – Vidant Bertie Hospital announced it has earned Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The certification recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a Primary or Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Vidant Bertie Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review on December 7, 2018 to assess its compliance with the Joint Commission’s Advanced Disease-Specific Care certification requirements, including:

A dedicated stroke-focused program;

Staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care;

Collaboration with local emergency management agencies;

24/7 ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing;

Ability to administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients; and

Availability of telemedicine technology.

“Currently, nearly half of the population in the United States live 60 miles or more away from a Primary Stroke Center or Comprehensive Stroke Center,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, American Stroke Association. “If patients who experience an acute ischemic stroke can get treated with clot-busting medications quickly, more lives would be saved and more patients would have improved outcomes.”

“This new certification acts as an important bridge and will be a key component in an evolving system of stroke care,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “A Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association certified Acute Stroke Ready Hospital will be the foundation for acute stroke care in many communities, allowing it to be the first stop on a patient’s acute stroke journey.”

“We are delighted to receive Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Brian Harvill, President of Vidant Bertie Hospital. “This certification demonstrates our commitment to providing a higher standard of service to stroke patients, while also addressing the gap in access to acute stroke services.”

Established in 2015, Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals. The certification was derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2005), “Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2011) and recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care.

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Vidant Bertie Hospital is part of Vidant Health, a mission-driven, not-for-profit corporation, which owns, leases or has a majority membership interest in eight eastern North Carolina hospitals.