Because of Saint Mary’s Emergency Department’s outstanding dedication to stroke patient care, the hospital was recently recognized by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) as an Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospital (ArSRH).

Hospitals with the ArSRH designation partner with local emergency medical services (EMS) to improve outcomes by getting stroke patients rapidly transported to the most appropriate hospital. EMS providers screen patients with standardized protocols to effectively recognize stroke and make sure patients receive the right kind of care.

Arkansas’ stroke system of care consists of Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Centers and ADH designated ArSRHs. Hospitals designated as ArSRHs are capable of providing time-critical care to the stroke patient, including initial emergency evaluation, real-time stroke assessment and treatment through telemedicine. Fewer than 30 Arkansas hospitals have the designation.

Saint Mary’s commitment to stroke patient care is long-standing. The Emergency Department has received many state and national level awards for its AR SAVES program in recent years. AR SAVES is a collaborative partnership between Saint Mary’s, UAMS, and specially trained neurologists from around the state that utilizes telemedicine. (AR SAVES stands for Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support.)

Saint Mary’s is one of 54 sites across Arkansas where emergency room doctors are linked to a vascular neurologist via live, two-way video. Through the AR SAVES program, physicians at Saint Mary’s can get neurological consultations for stroke patients 24/7 by sharing a view of a stroke patient and the patient’s brain scan with the collaborating medical team members. This, in turn, helps the entire team determine the best course of action for optimal results for the patient.

The program recognizes hospitals for exceptional door-to-needle time, which is a time measurement that begins when the patient arrives at the hospital and ends when the clot-busting drug t-PA is delivered. Saint Mary’s Emergency Department has consistently ranked in the top five hospitals in the state for door-to-needle time, often achieving first-place position in Arkansas.