Contact: Wendy Kelly, Director of Marketing
[email protected] or 252-449-9184

Nags Head NC — The Outer Banks Hospital (TOBH) announced that it has earned Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This designation for excellence in the care of stroke patients recognizes TOBH as equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a primary or comprehensive stroke center.

As the first hospital in this region to incorporate a 24/7 teleneurology program back in 2014 to assist with stroke treatment, TOBH has taken diagnosis and treatment of stroke to the next level with this certification. The hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review on January 13, 2020 to assess compliance with specific certification requirements:

  • A dedicated stroke-focused program
  • Staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care
  • Collaboration with local emergency management agencies
  • 24/7 ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing
  • Ability to administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients
  • Availability of telemedicine technology
  • A robust community education program focused on stroke prevention, timely stroke recognition, and post-stroke care

“Currently, nearly half of the population in the United States live 60 miles or more away from a Primary Stroke Center or Comprehensive Stroke Center,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, American Stroke Association. “If patients who experience an acute ischemic stroke can get treated with clot-busting medications quickly, more lives would be saved and more patients would have improved outcomes.”

“It is clear that you [TOBH] care about your community and are doing this for the right reasons, noted Joint Commission surveyor, Kathryn Funk, MSN, SCRN, CNRN. You are performing better than some of the primary and comprehensive Stroke centers I have surveyed.”

“We are proud of the team here that have worked tirelessly to achieve this certification, said Ronnie Sloan, FACHE, president of TOBH. It demonstrates a commitment to a higher standard of care and is further evidence that The Outer Banks Hospital is committed to serving this community and addressing the gap in access to acute stroke services.”

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Health Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, some dies of a stroke every four minutes, and 795,000 people suffer new or recurrent stroke each year.