PRINCETON — Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton has received designation as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“This designation ensures that all stroke patients, regardless of where they live, have access to rapid care within the narrow treatment window,” said Rex Conger, CEO. “Prior to receiving this designation, patients would have had to travel a long distance to receive the required care, losing precious time. Stroke designation for Perry Memorial Hospital now allows local access to the care needed beginning the moment they enter the hospital to the time the lifesaving drug is administered within the recommended 60 minute treatment window. ”
In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly passed MB2244, allowing the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. The law identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs EMS to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals. If, however, the closest hospital has not received its Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital designation, EMS personnel may divert that patient to the next closest designated hospital. With Perry Memorial Hospital designated, it now means stroke patients can receive high quality treatment right here.
In response, the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) created its Stroke Initiative in March of 2010 to increase the number of small and rural hospitals achieving the designation. The initiative has received international attention for its success in treating stroke patients in the rural areas of Illinois. “In order to gain the ESRH designation, the hospital must meet specific criteria, and Perry Memorial Hospital has worked to achieve this,” said Peggy Jones, ICAHN Stroke Consultant.
As an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital, Perry Memorial has a telehealth connection with a neurologist at one or more larger Primary Stroke Hospitals within the state. This telehealth connection allows a specialist to evaluate the patient and make treatment recommendations. To receive designation, hospitals must measure their outcomes and times to treatment and are subject to random inspections by the state.