In the spring of 2006, Middlesex Hospital became the third Connecticut hospital to receive the status of Primary Stroke Care Center from the Joint Commission’s Disease Specific Care Certification Program.
The Joint Commission collaborated with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association to develop standard practices and outcome measurements based on the Brain Attack Coalition’s evidence based guidelines. These practice guidelines would ensure that certified hospitals would give current, state-of-the-art stroke care to their patients.
A very important element of this program is the education of the community. People need to know the symptoms of a stroke as well as the importance of seeking immediate medical care. This is because there is a narrow window (3 hours) of opportunity from the onset of symptoms to diagnose a stroke in order to be eligible to receive antithrombotic agents.
Middlesex Hospital’s emergency physicians and the community’s emergency medical service providers are in contact with each other whenever there is an emergency call for a patient with stroke-like symptoms. This communication allows for the activation of a system that alerts specific physicians and departments that a possible stroke patient will be arriving shortly. This allows the care givers to prepare in advance so they can diagnose and treat the patient in a timely manner.
The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health also developed a stroke certification program. Middlesex Hospital was certified as a Stroke Center in 2008.