The nationally certified East Valley Stroke Center at Banner Baywood
Banner Baywood Medical Center has been nationally certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. It is the only nationally certified stroke center in the East Valley, and one of a handful in Arizona.
The Joint Commission's Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to improve outcomes for stroke patients.
Recently, Banner Baywood Medical Center instituted a new Stroke Alert program. Using a “FAST” method of identifying possible stroke patients, all hospital staff ranging from housekeeping to nurses now have the resources and responsibility to activate the hospital’s Stroke Alert response team.
FAST is an acronym used to pinpoint four key signs of stroke:
- Facial droop
- Arm drift
- Speech difficulty
When stroke is suspected, Baywood employees and/or Emergency Medical Service teams now can activate a Stroke Alert by:
- Notifying the hospital operator
- The operator then alerts the stroke team on call, and in many cases will contact the house supervisor on duty.
- The Banner Baywood stroke team works together and is made up of:
- a National Institutes of Health-certified registered nurse
- a neurologist
- lab and radiology techs skilled in caring for stroke patients
- Emergency department doctors and nurses
- clinical staff from other departments who may be involved in the patient’s care.
- Together, they evaluate patients, ensure initial testing is completed and determine next steps for their medical care. Initiation of the FAST scale and a Stroke Alert protocol demonstrate Banner Baywood’s commitment to medical excellence for stroke patients.
Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.
The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements/guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program—the nation’s first—in 2003.