Ashley County Receives AR Saves Award for 2016

Ashley County Medical was awarded the 2016 Site Excellence Award at the ARSAVES conference on Wednesday May 11, 2016. This award is given by the AR SAVES Awards Committee to the site showing exemplary contribution through the use of modern technology and best practices for standards of stroke care in their community.

Criteria to Identify Best Practicesfor the 2015 years data include

  • Completed above and beyond the minimum requirement for mocks. A mock is drill in which you practice a scenario of a stroke patient coming into the ER.
  • Performs above and beyond the minimum requirement for community education events each month. This is one active and one passive event monthly.
  • 90% or greater attendance of All Sites meetings, held the first Thursday of each month.
  • Submits data on time each month

Ashley County Medical Center’s Ramona Hill, BSN RN is the AR SAVES Facilitator and Shawna Hawkins, BSN RN is the AR SAVES Backup Facilitator.

Arkansas has fallen to sixth in the nation in the number of stroke deaths per capita after many years ranking number one, a huge improvement that health officials tribute in part to a statewide telemedicine program of stroke education and treatment.

The program, Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support, or AR SAVES provides 48 Arkansas hospitals with round-the-clock access to stroke neurologists who can quickly assess whether a stroke patient can be helped by a clot-busting drug that often restores complete function to the patient.

Beginning in 2008, AR SAVES, started as a partnership between the Center for Distance Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the state Department of Human Services. Since then it has expanded to 48 hospitals around the state, Ashley County Medical Center joined in 2009.

At the conference Ashley County Medical Center stroke survivor, Nicholas Shelton, 27, of Crossett, participated on the survivor panel. Working together, an AR SAVES neurologist and Ashley County Medical Center Emergency nurses, Ramona Hill and Mary Jon Wells, ensured Shelton received the clot-busting blood thinner in less than an hour. Within another hour, Shelton had recovered motor skills and senses he had lost to the stroke; temporary losses that could have been permanent without getting treated FAST.

Shelton talked about his experience at Ashley County Medical Center saying, “It was very good since I am in the condition I am in today. They were very responsive, and I like the fact they didn’t waste any time treating me.”

In addition to its clinical, telemedicine program, AR SAVES is fully engaged in robust efforts to educate first responders, health care providers and the public about how to recognize the signs of stroke and how urgent it is to receive timely treatment.