EMS World has reported on two Arkansas hospitals that were recently recognized for their excellent stroke care.

Sparks Regional Medical Center has once again been recognized by the Arkansas Department of Health for excellence in stroke patient care. And Mercy Fort Smith earned an “A” grade for keeping patients safe.

The Arkansas Department of Health’s awards were given to 15 hospitals for providing defect-free stroke care during July 2016-June 2017.

Defect-free care is based on the seven American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) achievement measures of the “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Patient Management Tool.” The measures are benchmarked according to the standards of evidence-based stroke care guidelines to ensure stroke patients receive appropriate and timely care, according to a news release from Sparks.

The AHA/ASA also recently released new guidelines on monitoring high blood pressure in adults. High blood pressure puts a person at risk for stroke and heart attack. The new definition of high blood pressure is a systolic pressure, or top number, of 130 or higher, or diastolic pressure of 80 or higher.

“The data shows that the risk for heart attack, stroke and other consequences of high blood pressure begins to occur at any level above 120 mmHg,” the release adds. “Risk doubles at 130 compared to levels below 120, according to the AHA/ASA.”

Sparks Health System includes Sparks Regional Medical Center, Sparks Medical Center—Van Buren, Sparks Clinic, Sparks PremierCare and the fully hospital-integrated Marvin Altman Fitness Center.

The Leapfrog Group’s fall 2017 Hospital Safety Grades have been released and show Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas having “A” grades. The group scores hospitals on how safe they keep their patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. More than 2,600 U.S. general acute-care hospitals were assigned scores and only 832 received an A—32 percent of those surveyed.

“We’re pleased that we continue to score well on measures of patient safety, because it’s an area where we strive for excellence every day,” Ryan Gehrig, president of Mercy Hospital Fort Smith, said in a news release. “This award acknowledges the skills and commitment of our entire team, including physicians and clinical caregivers and the co-workers who support them.”

To learn more, visit the official EMS World website.

Learn how Excellance is helping hospitals treat potential stroke patients on scene with The Mobile Stroke Unit.

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