AtlantiCare again earns Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care

The Atlantic City campus of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center — home of AtlantiCare’s Neurosciences Institute — has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification for the third time since 2017.

The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. It recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of care for stroke, opportunities to improve care, as well as to educate and prepare patients and their caregivers for discharge from the hospital.

Certification is awarded every two years.

Edward Hamaty, the institute’s medical director, said the honor is a team award.

“Earning this recognition is a testament to our team’s dedication to saving lives by providing the most advanced, 24/7 care to diagnose and treat the most complex strokes,” he said. “It also recognizes our commitment to improving the quality of life for patients in our community by lowering the risk of stroke — and equally important, by preventing them altogether. We exceed the national average in many of the quality metrics of this certification and of American Heart Association recommendations.”

AtlantiCare’s Atlantic City and Mainland campuses underwent rigorous, unannounced onsite review in May, resulting in the recertification as Comprehensive and Primary Stroke centers, respectively. ARMC Mainland Campus earned recertification as a Primary Stroke Center, maintaining the designation it has held since 2008.

The Joint Commission reviewers evaluated the ARMC City Campus team’s compliance with certification standards that hospitals must meet to be eligible for Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification. These standards include meeting all of the requirements of a Primary Stroke Center, as well as other requirements, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Has a dedicated neurointensive care unit to care for complex stroke patients 24/7;
  • Neurointerventionists, neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons and neurologists are available 24/7;
  • Ability to meet the needs of multiple stroke patients at the same time;
  • Has advanced diagnostic testing capability;
  • Ability to provide specialized treatments 24/7 — including cerebral angiogram, carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting;
  • Participates in patient-centered research;
  • Sponsors at least two public education events annually;
  • Holds two or more educational courses for its staff and staff of referring hospitals annually.

Dr. David Stidd, an endovascular neurosurgeon and co-medical director of AtlantiCare’s Stroke Program, said the award was the ultimate recognition.

“The certification acknowledges the extensive expertise of our Acute Stroke Team and our clinical colleagues who collaborate with them,” he said. “Dedicated to excellence and providing comprehensive care, our team is there every step of the way with stroke patients — from the scene of the stroke to well beyond their discharge from the hospital.”

Mark Pelletier, chief operating officer, accreditation and certification operations, and chief nursing executive at the Joint Commission, said the honor was well-deserved.

“Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” he said. “We commend AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”