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Celebrating Mount Nittany Health’s Pharmacy’s Impact on Providing Outstanding Stroke Care

4 min read

Mount Nittany Health is committed to being a leading source of outstanding adult primary stroke care in the Centre region, and we take a team approach to improving our patients’ outcomes. Recently, two Mount Nittany Medical Center Emergency Department teams completed two 21-minute “door-to-needle” times in administering thrombolytic treatment. According to the American Heart Association, the benchmark door-to-needle time is 60 minutes.

One way our providers do that is through close collaboration with Mount Nittany Health’s pharmacy team. It plays a multifaceted role that extends far beyond medication distribution. Recently, Lexie Lindner, PharmD, BCCCP, Pharmacy, and Nina Kephart, MSN, RN, Stroke and Sepsis Coordinator, Mount Nittany Health, presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Their presentation focused on the impact of Mount Nittany Medical Center’s Pharmacy team in revolutionizing stroke management and care from the moment a patient arrives in the Emergency Department to their journey toward recovery and beyond.

Mount Nittany Health’s team of six skilled pharmacists who cover in the Emergency Department respond promptly to stroke alerts called at the Medical Center. Their swift action includes facilitating the timely preparation of clot-busting medications, while providing crucial guidance to care teams on patient eligibility for this intervention.

Following the administration of clot-busting medications, the pharmacy team provides vigilant care by closely monitoring patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), ensuring medication management and patient support through a critical phase of recovery.

“With 14 unit-based pharmacists actively engaged in stroke patient care, we prioritize optimizing medication-related care for inpatients,” said Lexie. “Our pharmacists meticulously review each patient’s medication regimen, proactively coordinate with providers to enhance treatment efficacy and ensure a smooth transition to outpatient care.”

Mount Nittany Health’s commitment to excellence in stroke care extends beyond the Medical Center’s walls. Within one to three days post-discharge, the pharmacy team contacts stroke patients at home, offering support and addressing any concerns or questions related to their discharge instructions and medication regimen. This personalized follow-up was recently commended by a Joint Commission representative during an assessment.

“Our efforts have not gone unnoticed,” said Nina. “Through our focus on adherence to the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines medication metrics, we’ve achieved remarkable outcomes, particularly in enhancing guideline-recommended care for patients with type 2 diabetes.”

Lexie said, “Our dedication to stroke care has been underscored by the praise we’ve received for our post-discharge stroke phone call initiative, which has optimized compliance with the best stroke care practices and requirements.”

Last year, Mount Nittany Health was honored with the American Heart Association’s GoldPlus Get with the Guidelines-Stroke quality achievement award. This recognition underscores our organization’s dedication to delivering exceptional care to patients in accordance with well-established, evidence-driven protocols. Our commitment translates into an increased number of lives saved and a reduction in disability rates. As the fifth leading cause of death, and a leading cause of disability in the United States, early stroke detection and treatment are the keys to improving survival, minimizing disability, and accelerating recovery times.

Please join us in applauding Lexie and Nina for representing Mount Nittany Health at the International Stroke Conference and presenting on such an important topic. We are grateful for all they do and for contributing to our mission of “Healthier people, stronger community.”

Know the signs of a stroke:

Mount Nittany Health encourages everyone to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of a stroke, by learning the acronym BE FAST:

  • B- Balance: Loss of balance, headache or dizziness
  • E- Eyes: Blurred vision
  • F- Face: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A- Arm: Is one arm weak or numb?
  • S- Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
  • T- Time: If the person shows any symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.