Suzanne Moffett didn’t even know she had a stroke until she woke up after a life-saving procedure at Ben Taub Hospital, home to one of six comprehensive stroke centers in greater Houston. Stroke center designations are an increasingly important way to demonstrate a stroke center's expertise and leadership. In Texas, the level of certification determines where fire department and EMS personnel transport patients for the most appropriate stroke care.
Recently, Ben Taub Hospital’s stroke center received three state and national certifications and accreditations from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, DNV Healthcare and the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The awards place the Harris Health System hospital among elite facilities in the U.S. to offer cutting-edge stroke procedures, treatments and therapies.
“These recognitions showcase our staff’s commitment to excellence in patient care. To achieve these awards, our staff must demonstrate superior performance in the care of stroke patients,” says Dr. Ericka Brown, executive vice president and administrator, Ben Taub Hospital. “Most importantly this signifies that patients coming to Ben Taub Hospital are receiving the highest quality care possible in the treatment of stroke and fortifies the hospital’s position as healthcare leader in the U.S.”
The Get With The Guidelines®- Stroke Gold Plus-Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association means Ben Taub Hospital has achieved an 85 percent or higher adherence to all program indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals. Additionally, the hospital had a better than 75 percent compliance with the stringent stroke guideline measures.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and these awards demonstrate Ben Taub Hospital’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” says Dr. Joseph Kass, chief of Neurology and medical director of Stroke Service, Ben Taub Hospital, and associate professor, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine. “We will continue to provide quick and efficient care to stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”
DNV Healthcare, a prestigious international healthcare accreditation agency, recently re-certified the hospital for its stroke program, the second year of a three-year accreditation period. The certification encompasses the full spectrum of stroke care—diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education—and evaluates the stroke outcome of patients.
“Our stroke program is successful because of the hard work and dedication from the stroke team members,” says Naylon Bird, RN, manager, Stroke Program, Ben Taub Hospital. “Our multi-disciplinary team strives to go above and beyond to improve processes and assure our patients receive the highest standard of stroke care.”
Ben Taub Hospital’s other recognition is the designation as a comprehensive stroke center by the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC), a council that coordinates stroke, as well as other services such as trauma, to ensure the most efficient and best care available. Comprehensive stroke centers are the largest and best-equipped hospitals in a given geographical area.
Moffett is grateful paramedics knew to take her to a comprehensive stroke center like Ben Taub Hospital. She suffered the most severe type of stroke—a large blockage to a main brain artery—and her prognosis was bleak. However, the endovascular mechanical suction thrombectomy—a catheter-fed insertion into the affected vein to remove the blockage—proved successful.
“Thankful, is all I can say for what the hospital staff did for me,” she says. “I’m happy everyone knew what they were doing and could get me through it.”
Remarkably, Moffett made a seemingly complete recovery showing no signs of lost brain function or memory loss. She did suffer a slight loss of control to her left side, but that soon improved.