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Health

OSF St. Elizabeth achieves Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designation

Pictured are OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center employees who were instrumental in the Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designation process.
Pictured are OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center employees who were instrumental in the Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designation process.

OSF HealthCare St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa has received designation as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

"This designation is a testament to the ongoing dedication that our Mission Partners have to providing our communities with high-quality care," said Ken Beutke, president of OSF St. Elizabeth. "Our caregivers work as a team while adhering to strict clinical practices to ensure our patients receive rapid care when it matters most."

The Primary Stroke Center Laws, passed in 2009 and updated in 2015, allow the IDPH to identify hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs EMS providers to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals.

"This designation is a tribute to the collaborative teamwork between EMS services and the hospital’s emergency, diagnostic imaging, and laboratory departments,” stated Amanda Los, director of emergency services for OSF St. Elizabeth. "We put a lot of effort into streamlining processes for early identification and rapid diagnosis of stroke to ensure our patients receive high-quality and timely care."

"To maintain the ASRH designation, the hospital must meet specific criteria, and OSF St. Elizabeth has worked hard to achieve this," said Dr. Nicholas Reinhart, emergency medicine. "EMS can notify us of an incoming stroke patient, which results in the fastest treatment possible upon arrival, or quick transfer to OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford; our closest Comprehensive Stroke Center. This designation ensures our community has access to the highest levels of stroke care in the state."

To receive the designation, hospitals must measure their outcomes and times to treatment and are subject to random inspections by the state. 

In the event of a stroke, think FAST, an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke:

Face: Ask the person to smile or show teeth. Is the person's smile uneven or one side drooping?

Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the speech slurred? Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time: If one of these symptoms is present, don't drive; call 911 and check the time for when the first symptoms appeared.

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