HOUSTON (July 13, 2011) – Ben Taub General Hospital earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, the highest certification given to hospitals for their comprehensive stroke care program.
"Ben Taub Hospital now joins an elite group of hospitals in southeast Texas capable of offering the best and most-specialized care available to stroke patients," says David S. Lopez, president and CEO, Harris County Hospital District.
The Joint Commission recognizes centers like Ben Taub General Hospital that do exceptional work to provide stroke patients better outcomes. The certifications mean the hospital’s staff and technology meet critical elements of care needed to give stroke patients the best long-term outcomes.
“It is the best signal to your community that the quality care you provide is effectively managed to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients,” reports The Joint Commission.
In 2010, Ben Taub Hospital also received a Level I Comprehensive Stroke Center designation from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC). The regional council evaluates stroke care programs, as well as other services such as trauma, to ensure that patients have access to providers that offer the most efficient and best healthcare available.
“Establishing a certified stroke center helps HCHD enhance the medical care it offers the residents of Harris County," says Celeste McLaughlin, RN, director, Nursing, Quentin Mease Community Hospital, and chair, HCHD’s Stroke Center Steering Committee. "The certification also shows the hospital district's commitment to providing our community the highest quality care that meets or exceeds rigid national standards."
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted because a blood vessel is blocked or bursts. Each year about 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds or dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes.
Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.
"The goals of the Advanced Primary Stroke Center are to improve access to acute stroke care, enhance use of proven therapies for acute stroke management and improve our community’s awareness of stroke prevention and care," says Jeff Webster, senior vice president and administrator, Ben Taub General Hospital. "This was truly a team effort achieved with the participation of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and integrated care team at Ben Taub General Hospital."