Crozer-Keystone Hospitals Awarded Recertification as Advanced Primary Stroke Centers - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on August 17, 2016

Crozer-Keystone Hospitals Awarded Recertification as Advanced Primary Stroke Centers

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Mary Wascavage
(610) 284-8619

Joint Commission Gold Seal

The Joint Commission designated Crozer, DCMH
and Taylor as Certified Primary Stroke Centers.

Crozer-Keystone Health System is pleased to announce that three of its hospitals – Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, and Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park – have been awarded Disease-Specific Care recertification as Primary Stroke Centers by The Joint Commission.

To receive the certification, all three hospitals underwent a rigorous onsite review. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements – including program management, delivery of clinical care, and performance improvement.

“Crozer, DCMH and Taylor have thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients with stroke,” says Wendi J. Roberts, R.N., executive director, Certification Programs, The Joint Commission. “We commend these hospitals for being leaders in stroke care in their community.”

“I am extremely proud of the stroke teams and support staff at Crozer, DCMH and Taylor,” says Gregory Cuculino, M.D., chair of the Emergency Medicine Department for Crozer-Keystone Health System. “All three sites experienced zero survey deficiencies and were awarded recertification with distinction. The certification provides us with the opportunity to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide as well as to continually strive to advance our care even further.”

Crozer-Keystone’s longstanding commitment to stroke care was proven in 2007, when DCMH became the first hospital in Delaware and Chester counties to earn Primary Stroke Center certification. Crozer and Taylor achieved the distinction soon thereafter. A relatively new program at the time, having been established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

Stroke 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 (AHA/ASA). 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.

When it comes to treating stroke, every second counts. Numerous research studies have proven that treatment at a Primary Stroke Center improves patients’ chances of survival. “The saying goes, ‘Time is Brain,’” says Suzanne Hefton, R.N., stroke coordinator for Crozer-Keystone Health System. “Early recognition, and rapid assessment and treatment are key to improved outcomes in stroke patients.”

Hefton explains that a precise process must unfold when a stroke patient presents to the Emergency Department: “An alert goes out to the stroke team – and that includes neurology, pharmacy, CT, patient access and the lab,” she says. “This allows the team to be ‘ready and waiting’ to draw blood, run labs and perform a CT scan right away. And the results come back just as fast. We can then initiate time-sensitive treatment that can save brain cells and, literally, a person’s life.”

In addition to clinical excellence, Cuculino and Hefton have spearheaded initiatives to educate the community on the signs and symptoms of stroke, risk factors, and the need to call 911 right away. “Eighty percent of strokes are preventable,” Hefton says. “Knowledge is power!”

Crozer-Keystone’s multidisciplinary program also works to provide the best possible outcomes through skilled inpatient care followed by recovery services offered through the Regional Rehabilitation Centers at DCMH and Taylor.

Onsite Joint Commission certification reviews are conducted by reviewers with expertise in stroke care. The certification decision is based on the evaluation of standards, implementation of clinical practice guidelines and performance measurement activities.

The Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers recognizes centers that follow the best practices for stroke care. Applicants for advanced certification must meet the requirements for Disease-Specific Care Certification plus additional, clinically specific requirements and expectations. Certified Primary Stroke Centers:

  • Use a standardized method of delivering care
  • Support patient self-management activities
  • Tailor treatment and intervention to individual needs
  • Promote the flow of patient information across settings and providers while protecting patient rights, security and privacy
  • Analyze and use standardized performance measure data to continually improve treatment plans
  • Demonstrate their application of and compliance with clinical practice guidelines published by the AHA/ASA or equivalent evidence-based guidelines

For more information about Crozer-Keystone’s stroke program, visit

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