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Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center Earns National Stroke Certification 

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Hospital is Recognized Among Virginia’s Top-Rated Stroke Centers

Williamsburg, Virginia (April 25, 2011) – Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center has received national accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center. In addition, the hospital has received accreditation by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organization (NIAHO) program.

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center is now recognized for using the highest standards and proven methods to achieve successful outcomes for stroke patients. This certification validates that staff responding to stroke are following the best methods to identify and fast track stroke patients so that doctors can begin brain-saving treatments immediately.

“Receiving Primary Stroke Center Certification from DNV is a testament to the quality of our stroke program,” said Bob Graves, vice president and administrator, Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. “We are proud of the teamwork and dedication by all who have worked to make stroke care the very best at Sentara Williamsburg.”

Graves added his appreciation for the staff’s work to educate the community about the signs and symptoms of stroke. “Time is a critical factor when trying to successfully treat a stroke patient, and it is important that the community knows how to recognize and react to stroke,” Graves said.

Hospital Accreditation
In 2008, DNV became the first organization in over 40 years to win Medicare deeming authority for the nation’s acute care hospitals from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

DNV surveyors conduct annual, unannounced reviews of all hospital areas to ensure that quality care is integrated into the process of running a hospital. The surveyors collaborate with hospital staff to promote the discovery of new and innovative ways to deliver quality healthcare services that specifically meet the needs of each hospital’s patient populations.

In addition, DNV’s hospital accreditation program is the only one of its kind to integrate International Standardization Organization (ISO) guidelines that relate to quality management systems and are designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of their customers and other stakeholders.

Rigorous Review
To achieve this Primary Stroke Center designation, DNV surveyors reviewed actual and potential patient outcomes, as well as required processes. They assessed the stroke care and services provided at SWRMC, including the appropriateness of care and services provided.

Additionally, the surveyors visited a variety of patient care settings associated with stroke care, including inpatient units, outpatient settings, the emergency department, imaging, rehabilitation, as well as reviewed clinical records, ensuring the documentation necessary to validate information gained from observations and interviews.

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in the state to receive DNV certification and thus the first hospital to receive DNV recognition as a Primary Stroke Center. SWRMC joins several other area hospitals in being recognized for excellence in stroke care.

“Being honored as a Primary Stroke Center signals dedication to quality in meeting the specialized needs of stroke patients at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center” says Richard M. Zweifler, M.D., neurologist with Sentara Medical Group and Chief of Neurosciences.

Stroke: Know the Facts
Virginia is within the Stroke Belt of the United States where mortality for stroke is higher than the rest of the nation. According to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2010 Update at a Glance, stroke is third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Every 40 seconds someone in America has a stroke. About 795,000 Americans will suffer a stroke this year with about one quarter being under the age of 65. It’s estimated about 232,000 Americans will die from stroke this year.

Know the warning signs of stroke and what to do in the event of a stroke:
Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden, severe headache with no known causes
If you suspect a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately

Related Links:
American Heart Association - Stroke Info
Det Norske Veritas (DNV) National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organization (NIAHO) program
Sentara Medical Group
Sentara Neurosciences
Sentara Neurology Specialists
Sentara Stroke Program
Stroke Treatment at Sentara
Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center

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