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Piedmont Newton Hospital earns certification, award for stroke care
Piedmont Newton Front
Piedmont Newton Hospital in Covington. - photo by Special to The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — Piedmont Newton Hospital has received certification from an international accrediting agency as an Acute Stroke Ready Center, affirming the hospital’s readiness to handle strokes and stroke-related medical problems.

DNV GL Healthcare is a global independent certification, assurance and risk management provider, operating in more than 100 countries.

Having Acute Stroke Ready-certified programs in communities like Newton County, where larger hospitals that offer the highest level of care are far away is vitally important to stroke patient outcomes. With strokes “time is brain,” meaning the faster a patient can get to a certified stroke center, the fewer complications the patient is likely to face. 

“This certification lets our community know that we have the resources to provide the best possible stroke care close to home,” said Erica Walker, stroke and cardiovascular program manager for Piedmont Newton. 

“It’s a combination of the right equipment, personnel and training to quickly assess, identify and treat strokes. This includes the ability to efficiently transfer patients in the event they require treatment beyond our capabilities. Achieving certification validates the tremendous effort we have put into this program, ensuring the health and safety of our patients.”

The DNV Acute Stroke Ready (ASR) Certification is derived from evidenced-based standards set forth by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association, and affirms that Piedmont Newton addresses the initial diagnosis, initial treatment and, when necessary, facilitates quick transfer to a specialized stroke center with a higher spectrum of stroke care. 

“Achieving certification shows a commitment to excellence,” said Kelly Proctor, president of DNV Healthcare USA Inc. “It helps demonstrate that you are providing the highest level of care that this hospital is designed to offer.”

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is a leading cause of death, killing nearly 130,000 people each year, and is a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Because stroke, or “brain attack,” affects blood flow to the brain, rapid and effective treatment can save lives and provide the best chance of limiting the extent of long-term damage.

In early 2021, Piedmont announced the opening of a new service line – Piedmont Neurosciences – to meet the needs of the communities that the system serves. Piedmont Neurosciences has a 14-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 32-bed Neuro Acute Care floor at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. 

Within the service line, Piedmont has chosen to invest in three key areas: brain tumor, spine, and cerebrovascular services. Previously, these patients were transferred out of Piedmont hospitals to receive a higher level of care. Continuity of care as part of Piedmont’s Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) is a major factor of improved outcomes for patients.

Piedmont Newton also recently received the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Quality Achievement Award for its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally-recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

Get With The Guidelines is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. 

Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 12 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.

In early 2021, Piedmont announced the opening of a new service line — Piedmont Neurosciences — to meet the needs of the communities that the system serves. Piedmont Neurosciences has a 14-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 32-bed Neuro Acute Care floor at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. 

Within the service line, Piedmont has chosen to invest in three key areas: brain tumor, spine, and cerebrovascular services. Previously, these patients were transferred out of Piedmont hospitals to receive a higher level of care. Continuity of care as part of Piedmont’s Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) is a major factor of improved outcomes for patients.

Piedmont is a private, nonprofit organization that employs 37,000 who care for 3.4 million patients across 1,400 locations and serving communities that comprise 80% of Georgia’s population. This includes 22 hospitals, including three inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, 65 Piedmont Urgent Care centers, 25 QuickCare locations, 1,875 Piedmont Clinic physician practices and more than 3,000 Piedmont Clinic members.