St. Luke's Warren Accredited as Advanced Primary Stroke Center

St. Luke’s Warren Campus has been awarded prestigious accreditation as an advanced primary stroke center by the Joint Commission. This designation recognizes the strong commitment by St. Luke's Warren to meeting high performance standards of stroke care.

Ultimately, stroke is a team sport,” explains Daniel Ackerman, M.D., Director of Stroke and Vascular Neurology at St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN).

“It's not just one doctor or one group of doctors group or nurses; it really requires a commitment across the whole campus. An advanced primary stroke center like St. Luke’s Warren Campus has the capabilities not only to evaluate and treat patients having a stroke, but it also adheres to established best practices in stroke care across the entire continuum, from working with EMS on protocols to evaluating patients in the emergency room and through patients’ initial phase of stroke rehab and recovery.”

Established in 2003, advanced certification for primary stroke centers is awarded by the Joint Commission to select acute care hospitals for a two-year period. There are currently 30 hospitals in New Jersey that are accredited as advanced primary stroke centers by the Joint Commission.

Stroke is extremely common and dangerous. It is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

As of mid-September, St. Luke’s Warren Campus has treated 148 patients in 2018 who were having a stroke and another 90 patients for a transient ischemic attack, which is an episode of stroke-like symptoms that disappear within 24 hours. An additional 130 emergency room patients have been evaluated for stroke, but were not experiencing one.

To receive the advanced primary stroke center accreditation, St. Luke’s Warren Campus had to show it has available advanced imaging techniques 24 hours per day, seven days per week; demonstrate compliance with clinical practice guidelines from the American Stroke Association; analyze and measure its procedural and outcomes data across eight Joint Commission-specified areas; provide public education opportunities; and more.

Dr. Ackerman notes that for members of the local community, this achievement means that they can arrive at St. Luke's Warren any time, day or night, and receive the same high-quality stroke evaluation and care.

“Stroke strikes extremely quickly, like a bolt of lightning,” Dr. Ackerman explains. “When it occurs, the damage starts, and every minute between then and when a patient is treated for stroke, more damage is being done. Attaining this designation as an advanced primary stroke center at Warren is crucial for our community because it ensures that we have the machinery available, the expertise in place, and established best practices to adhere to so that when a patient comes to the hospital with symptoms of a stroke, we can immediately jump into action and get that patient treated as quickly as possible.”

St. Luke’s Warren Campus is also licensed as a primary stroke center by the N.J. Department of Health and was awarded the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Target Stroke Designation for 2017.

“Together, these awards all show our proficiency, speed and consistency of stroke care,” Dr. Ackerman explains. “These awards are all highly recognized by the EMS and physician communities, and let members of the Warren community know that they can receive the highest level of stroke care right in their backyard. It has always been St. Luke’s philosophy to bring expertise and excellence to the patient. This accreditation is another way that we are demonstrating our commitment to the health of our community.”

For more information about the St. Luke’s Warren Campus, and a full list of services and resources available, please visit www.slhn.org/Warren.

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About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018.  It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.