PCH Receives Recognition

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Piggott Community Hospital's Dr. J.T. DeWitt, physician, (left) and Elaine Nixon, RN, ARSaves Facilitator, accepted the award presented by the Arkansas Department of Health for their efforts to manage and treat strokes.

Piggott Community Hospital has been awarded the Best Defect-Free Care Award for its role in the statewide effort to manage deaths and damage from strokes. The honor was presented by the Arkansas Department of Health's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention section.

In 2009, the Arkansas Department of Health received federal grant funding from the CDC, and additional state funding in 2010 through the Acute Stroke Care Task Force, to develop and implement a statewide hospital-based stroke registry. The Arkansas Stroke Registry collects data concerning emergency transport, clinical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of adult patients presenting to hospitals with an admitting diagnosis of stroke.

As a result, Piggott Community Hospital has benefitted in a number of ways. In 2011, the CDC published a five-year study showing significant improvements in stroke care quality measures from those hospitals participating in stroke registries. For example, ischemic in-patient defect-free care improved an average of 85 percent. As a part of the program, PCH and UAMS partner to provide treatment to patients who come to the emergency room with ischemic stroke symptoms.

As a member of the statewide registry, PCH is connected to other hospitals and conferences, meetings, and educational opportunities relative to optimizing the quality of stroke care. This offers a clearinghouse for hospitals to share their best practices and other tools to help Piggott Community Hospital facilitate patient care.

Along with other member hospitals, PCH is able to compare performance measure data to other Arkansas hospitals participating in the Arkansas Stroke Registry (in aggregate; a hospital's individual data is kept private) and hospitals nationwide.

The HITECH Act portion of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) authorizes incentive payments to hospitals for the "Meaningful Use" of health care data. The opportunity to be eligible for these payments is facilitated by participating in the Arkansas Stroke Registry.

"Association with our state Stroke Registry Program will have an impact on future policy decisions on acute stroke patient care," said James Magee, CEO of the hospital. "We have an obligation to our community to do all that we can to ensure that we do not let these opportunities go unnoticed. In the process, there is much to gain in gathering information that helps save lives and reduce disability."

Those wanting more information on the award, or the ARSaves stroke program, may call Elaine Nixon, RN, at PCH at 870-598-3881.

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