Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics has been recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Health Service's Coverdell Stroke Program for becoming a Stroke Champion in the effort to improve stroke care.
“Our goal is to provide the highest standard of stroke care for our patients,” said Don Heinz, Moundview CEO. “Our emergency department offers a number of quality initiatives that enhance the prompt diagnosis and treatment of stroke.”
“Participating in the Coverdell Stroke Program assists us in our quality improvement goals,” said Lisa Massen, RN, Moundview Emergency Department Manager. “We collect and monitor stroke performance data, comparing ourselves against other hospitals. We also have access to numerous resources including increased educational opportunities for our emergency department staff and the local ambulance services. Quality stroke care begins with the pre-hospital care provided by the EMS (emergency medical services). We work closely with the EMS and strongly encourage patients to call 911 if they think they are having a stroke."
“Patients who arrive by ambulance have an advantage because they receive pre-hospital testing," said Charles Pratt, MD, Moundview Emergency Department Medical Director. "We are in constant communication with the EMS. They relay patient assessments to our staff which results in faster treatment. Once the patient arrives in the ER, they can be sent immediately to receive a CT scan of their head to give us a more clear diagnosis of their condition.”
“We provide a clot busting drug to 100% of stroke patients who are within a three to four and a half hour window of symptom onset,” continued Dr. Pratt. “We only have a small window of time to prevent severe disability or, in some cases, death.”
Stroke care will be further enhanced this summer with the introduction of a new, state-of-the-art Tele-Stroke service at Moundview’s Emergency Department. The service provides 24-hour diagnostic consultation with a neurologist via two-way video conferencing.
“Tele-Stroke will optimize stroke care for our patients,” said Heinz. “Currently neurology consultations occur over the phone in our emergency room,” said Heinz. “Tele-Stroke will enable our ER staff to initiate a “face-to-face” consultation with an off-site neurologist who will remotely examine the patient using a high resolution camera, computer, speakers, microphone and medical equipment. The patient’s CT test results will be reviewed by the neurologist who will then make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.”
“In addition to prompt treatment, community education also plays an important role in stroke care,” said Massen. “Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. We encourage everyone to learn the acronym F.A.S.T. to help spot a stroke which stands for facial droop, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to call 911.”
While time is of the essence when someone is having a stroke, prevention is the key to avoiding one in the first place. Most strokes are preventable. Some risk factors can’t be changed, such as heredity, age and race. Other risk factors can be improved, treated or controlled including high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, poor diet, physical inactivity and obesity, high blood cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, carotid or other artery disease, peripheral artery disease, other heart disease and sickle cell disease.
To learn if you are at risk for a stroke, schedule a checkup with your health care provider or call Moundview’s Family Clinics in Friendship (608) 339-6350 or Westfield (608) 296-6350.