By Jo Baxter…
Baptist Hospital, which treats more stroke patients than any other hospital in Miami-Dade County, has been designated as a stroke center by the Joint Commission, a national organization whose certification is recognized as a symbol of quality.
“This certification is welcome recognition,” said Sergio Gonzalez-Arias, MD, medical director, Baptist Hospital Neuroscience Center. “It means we’ve made exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. It’s good news for our team of experts, and great news for our patients and the community we serve.”
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, affecting 795,000 people each year. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that brings oxygen and nutrients to the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood clot or some other particle. Because of this rupture or blockage, part of the brain doesn’t get the blood and oxygen it needs.
Baptist Hospital’s Stroke Team launches into action when contacted by Fire Rescue that a stroke patient is en route to the hospital. A multidisciplinary team cares for stroke patients from diagnosis through treatment and rehabilitation. Last year, Baptist Hospital treated 762 stroke patients, more than any other hospital in Miami-Dade County.
Paul Damski, MD, medical director of the Baptist Hospital stroke program, said the Joint Commission evaluator “compared us favorably to academic centers of national standing and called us a best-practice hospital.”
The on-site certification process involved evaluation by reviewers with expertise in stroke care. After one year, the Neuroscience Center must attest to its continued compliance with standards and performance measurement. To maintain certification, the cycle repeats with an on-site review conducted every two years.
The Neuroscience Center, located on the second floor of the Victor E. Clarke Pavilion at Baptist Hospital, provides the most comprehensive and innovative techniques to diagnose and treat the brain, spine and nervous system.
Baptist Hospital is an affiliate of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization in the region. It also includes Baptist Children’s Hospital, South Miami Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute and Baptist Outpatient Services.
Baptist Health Foundation, the organization’s fundraising arm, supports services at all hospitals and facilities affiliated with Baptist Health.