The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently implemented a care coordination plan creating an Emergency Cardiac and Stroke care system designed to improve the process and care for cardiac and stroke patients. Snoqualmie Valley Hospital is now part of this new statewide care coordination system.
To receive official categorization, hospitals must complete a rigorous application process and meet all specified quality measures designated by the new system criteria. This new system has two cardiac levels and three stroke levels.
Snoqualmie Valley Hospital has been awarded a Level Two Cardiac Care and Level Three Stroke Care category by the DOH.
“Our goal through the process of obtaining Level Two Cardiac and Level Three Stroke categorization has been to improve the health and safety of our community and to save lives,” Rachel Weber, Director of Nursing at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, said.
Under the new system, emergency departments are required to follow certain protocols and meet certain performance goals for cardiac patients, such as the ability to complete EKG’s within 10 minutes and being able to transfer patients to locations where they will receive the optimal and specialized care they need.
“Snoqualmie Valley Hospital has effectively developed strong collaborative relationships with area hospitals to assure that patients receive the right care at the right time regardless of where that care occurs,” Weber said.
The DOH’s next step is to have all of the state’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers indicate how they will coordinate care based on the system’s criteria. Local EMS personnel have the option to transport critical stroke or cardiac patients to Snoqualmie Valley Hospital to reduce transport time so patients start receiving care as fast as possible.
Fire departments statewide will be creating protocols for First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics to ensure coordination of care is provided for all patients.
Not all of the state’s hospitals have completed the Emergency Cardiac and Stroke care system application process or satisfied the quality measures required by the new system. Washington State Department of Health is working to get all 97 hospitals participating in the new system.
Recognizing the warning signs of heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest is instrumental in helping hospitals save lives. Visit www.heart.org for a list of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest warning signs.
If you or someone near you is experiencing symptoms of heart attack or stroke, please call 911 immediately.