Sparks Strengthens Stroke Care Commitment

FORT SMITH, Ark. (June 24, 2013) – Sparks Health System is proud to announce our hospital is leading the state with stroke treatment.

According to the latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas has the highest stroke death rate in the United States.  Sparks Regional Medical Center is taking an active role in reducing these statistics.

Last month, the Arkansas Department of Health presented Sparks with the first-ever “defect-free award to large stroke volume hospitals.”  This honor is based on the number of patients seen at healthcare facilities in the state who were provided all the care they should receive, based on ten quality measures. 

Sparks provided defect-free stroke care to more than 99 percent of stroke patients seen at the facility in 2012, according to the Arkansas Stroke Registry.  That makes Sparks tops for stroke care among the state’s largest medical centers who participate in the Stroke Registry.  This is the first year the Arkansas Department of Health has presented awards to Arkansas Stroke Registry participating hospitals for committed stroke care.

In addition, Sparks Regional Medical Center is now a certified training center for Advanced Stroke Life Support.  Earlier this month, instructors from The Gordon Center at Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami led a class of neurologists, nurses and emergency medical services personnel in becoming certified to share stroke expertise with other healthcare facilities in Arkansas and Oklahoma.  The Arkansas Department of Health’s Stroke Registry, now a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Paul Coverdell Program, was instrumental in making this training available to members of stroke teams and emergency medical personnel as part of their stroke prevention and control activities across the state of Arkansas.

Sparks and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are the only Advanced Stroke Life Support training centers in the state.  Other hospitals, like Washington Regional, will be providing stroke training under Sparks’ supervision.

The training helps ensure patients receive coordinated stroke care from the ambulance/helicopter to the hospital and improves the quality of stroke care for the entire region.

Sparks Regional Medical Center is a Certified Primary Stroke Center and has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission.  The hospital has also received the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for three straight years.