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SMH Earns Advanced Heart Failure, Stroke Care Certification

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Joint Commission LogoSARASOTA (Feb. 10, 2014) – Sarasota Memorial once again has demonstrated its superiority in treating two life-threatening conditions that affect millions of people each year, earning re-certification for its congestive heart failure program and for stroke care.

To be certified, the hospital programs underwent a rigorous, on-site evaluation by The Joint Commission late last year. The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards; effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

"In achieving Joint Commission certification, Sarasota Memorial has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients who have had a stroke or managing heart failure and stroke," says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend Sarasota Memorial for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body. If left untreated, it can impair the function of virtually every organ, and on a nationwide basis, contributes to 300,000 deaths each year. Sarasota Memorial provides heart failure patients with specialized medication, education and diet to help manage their condition, both in the hospital and in the outpatient Heart Failure Center. 

The Joint Commission’s stroke re-certification is the latest in a series of honors for SMH’s program, which is the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in Southwest Florida. The special “Comprehensive” designation, which is given by the state of Florida, recognizes that the organization offers the most advanced technologies and specialists to treat stroke. Sarasota Memorial also has received the American Heart Association’s and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, recognizing our success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients. The comprehensive rehabilitation program’s stroke accreditation also recently was renewed by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

The certifications are awarded for a two-year period.

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