Pictured are Emergency Department medical director Dr. Rudolph Alvey, registered nurses Mayette Trudeau and Jane Traynor with the telestroke equipment in the Emergency Department.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has designated Regina Hospital as an acute stroke ready hospital.
Regina joins 77 Minnesota hospitals recognized for offering the gold standard in preparedness to stabilize stroke patients and administer life-saving medications.
"When it comes to stroke, time lost is brain lost," said MDH Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger. "That is why it is so crucial that all Minnesota hospitals are ready to deliver high-quality stroke care close to home."
The notification from MDH specifically commended the Regina Hospital’s stroke protocols, the systems around the activation of the stroke team and the commitment to stroke education with many opportunities for nursing and emergency department providers.
"The ability to deliver the highest quality care in the fastest possible time represents an accomplishment that is only possible by the teamwork and cooperation of Regina Hospital, Hastings Fire and Allina Health," said Dr. Rudolph Alvey, medical director of the Emergency Department at Regina Hospital. "The process involves expeditious care provided by our EMS crews, registration staff, nurses, lab techs, physicians, radiology team and a stroke neurologist at United Hospital who we connect with via video conferencing for every potential stroke case."
"We really want people to know the importance of coming to the Emergency Department as soon as possible when stroke-like symptoms occur," added Dr. Alvey. "The single most important factor in stroke situations is the timeliness of care."
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in Dakota County, according to the Healthy Dakota Initiative Community Health Assessment, a report produced by Dakota County Public Health in 2013.
While 18 Minnesota hospitals found in larger cities have been designated as comprehensive or primary stroke centers, many Minnesota residents live in more rural areas, away from these centers. MDH found that nearly one in three Minnesota stroke victims first receives care at a smaller, rural hospital, with more than one-third of Minnesotans living more than 60 minutes away from a primary stroke center. These facts highlight the importance of smaller hospitals, such as Hastings, becoming designated stroke-ready.
"Although Regina Hospital has participated in the Minnesota Stroke Registry since 2009, this is the first time the hospital has been awarded this three-year accreditation," said Regina Hospital interim president Jim McGlade. "It is a wonderful achievement and attaining this designation has involved considerable effort on the part of our stroke team, emergency department physicians and nurses and our quality improvement staff."
Use the mnemonic F.A.S.T. to recognize signs of a stroke and the action to take:
- F – Face drooping
- A – Arm weakness
- S – Speech difficulty
- T – Time to call 9-1-1
Learn more at allinahealth.org/stroke