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Littleton Adventist receives JCAHO’s seal of approvalPublished 9/6/2005

Littleton Adventist Hospital is the only hospital in Colorado to be certified as both a Primary Stroke Center and Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), the leading and most trusted agency evaluating clinical care quality in all types of health care settings. Littleton earned this distinction after the Joint Commission conducted an on-site review in March.

"We are proud to be the only hospital in Colorado to receive two disease-specific JCAHO certifications," said Rhonda Ward, director of Quality. "Stroke and Acute Coronary Syndrome are two conditions where time really matters. Tightening up our care processes on these conditions results in improved quality outcomes for our patients and demonstrates our commitment to better meeting the diversified health care needs of our community."

The Joint Commission’s Certificate of Distinction for primary disease-specific centers recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for patients. Achievement of certification signifies that the services Littleton Adventist Hospital provides have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes. A JCAHO certification demonstrates Littleton’s ability to effectively manage quality care practices to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke and ACS patients.

During the hospital’s review, JCAHO particularly noted Littleton’s collaborative effort between physicians and staff to develop an advanced stroke care program, which includes the rapid triage and treatment of the stroke victim. The program’s current treatment for acute stroke includes intravenous thrombolytic treatment. An on-site biplane angiography suite will be operational within the next six months so that intra-arterial treatment for stroke will be available for patients and will be supported by interventional radiology.

"By obtaining this certification, Littleton has taken an important step towards providing standardized care to stroke patients in our community," said H. Rai Kakkar, M.D., neurologist, Advanced Neurology of Colorado.

Additionally, Littleton was commended for its Acute Coronary Syndrome program, which supports and utilizes guidelines established by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. JCAHO was particularly impressed with various components of this program, beginning with pre-hospital recognition of a patient experiencing chest pain, rapid evaluation in the emergency department and immediate transfer to the cardiac catheterization lab.

"Littleton’s improved stroke and cardiac protocols ensure a smooth continuum of care, from the field to the emergency department to the hospital — this is truly an integrated system," said Eugene Eby, M.D., emergency physician, Littleton Adventist Hospital. "Early intervention and streamlined care processes dramatically impact the care our cardiac and stroke patients receive and yield more positive patient outcomes."

To be certified, a hospital’s disease management program undergoes an extensive on-site evaluation review by a team of Joint Commission reviewers once every two years. The program is evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of a program’s processes, the program’s ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.

"In addition to Littleton’s recent Level II Trauma Center verification by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), receiving these two disease-specific certifications from JCAHO completes our goal of providing the most comprehensive, high-quality care to our community," said Mark Elliott, M.D., medical director, Littleton Adventist Hospital Emergency Department. "We are very excited to have received JCAHO’s ‘Gold Seal’ of approval for both stroke and ACS care."

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards setting and accrediting body in health care.

Littleton Adventist Hospital is part of Centura Health, a faith-based hospital system sponsored by Adventist Health System and Catholic Health Initiatives. As Colorado’s only hospital to have been nationally certified as both a Primary Stroke Center and Acute Coronary Syndrome Center, Littleton Adventist Hospital is an acute-care, 175-bed hospital and Level II Trauma Center. Littleton Adventist Hospital has been south metro Denver’s premier full-service medical center since 1989.

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