RMC Advanced Primary Stroke Center Recertified by the Joint Commission


The Regional Medical Center’s (RMC) Advanced Primary Stroke Center has been recertified by The Joint Commission, a national agency that focuses on patient safety and better quality outcomes in healthcare organizations.

The RMC Advanced Primary Stroke Center team. From left: Director of Quality Management and Medical Staff Services Indun Whetsell, RN; Interim Vice President of Patient & Family Services and Chief Nursing Officer Mickey Whisenhunt, MSN, RN; Emergency Department Nursing Director, Director of Urgent Care –Bamberg and Urgent Care – Santee Brad Holmes, MSN, RN; Stroke Program Coordinator and Telehealth Coordinator Sherry Davis, BSN, RN, SCRN; Lyle Shelver, MD; Medical Surgical Step Down Unit Nurse Manager Melissa Thomas, RN; Quality Data Analyst Karen Sutcliffe, RN; Telehealth Technician Shraddha Patel, MD; and Director of 3 West, Medical Surgical Step Down Unit, Progressive Care Unit Pandora Ryant, MSN, RN.  
“Our stroke center cares for stroke patients from the moment they arrive to the emergency department, until their discharge. We are very pleased to receive recertification by The Joint Commission. The recertification will allow us to continue best practices using state-of-the-art technology to care for our stroke patients,” said RMC Chief Quality and Safety Officer Brian Kendall, MD.

The RMC Primary Stroke Center’s recertification demonstrates that the program meets critical elements of performance to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients. Certification is a voluntary process that RMC underwent to elevate its standard of care.

Developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association and launched in 2003, The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification program is based on the Brain Attack Coalition's "Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers." Certification is available only to stroke programs in Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

RMC will continue to display The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for their Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. This mark signifies that RMC is providing the “next generation of stroke care,” and will help patients easily identify RMC as one of quality that has surpassed numerous goals in treatment of stroke.

RMC’s Primary Stroke Center is affiliated with the MUSC Health Telestroke program that provides urgent telestroke evaluations and treatment to RMC patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RMC currently serves about 250 stroke patients per year. The RMC Emergency Department has established a “stroke pathways” treatment plan that quickly guides patients through radiological studies and clinical evaluations.

The number of RMC stroke patients who received life-saving thrombolytic therapy, Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA), doubled from 10 patients in 2014 to 24 patients in 2015. In 2016 27 patients received tPA. This medication must be administered within three hours of the appearance of the first stroke symptom. In 2015, 53% of RMC stroke patients were administered tPA within an hour of arriving to the hospital, and in 2016, 56% of patients received tPA within an hour of arrival.

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve healthcare for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

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