Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Implements Stroke Education Program

March 10, 2008

The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, in conjunction with the North Carolina Stroke Association, is offering a new educational program for stroke survivors.

Called “Beyond the Hospital” the educational series is designed to help patients understand the health issues they may be confronted with upon discharge from the hospital, said Sharon Pettiford, R.N., M.S.N., Wake Forest Baptist’s stroke coordinator. “The program is administered to our patients while they are still in the hospital. Our goal is to ultimately prevent our patients from having additional strokes and to educate them about their recovery period.”
Patients receive a telephone follow-up questionnaire designed by the North Carolina Stroke Association three months after discharge to see how they are progressing and whether they have retained the information learned in the program. Patients are asked about their medications to see if they are taking them properly, whether they have been re-hospitalized, and their level of disability after stroke.
Stroke strikes about 700,000 people each year in the United States, leaving thousands disabled and is the leading cause of serious long-term disability. People living in what is called the stroke belt, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, have higher mortality rates from stroke than other parts of the country.
“The Beyond the Hospital program is a real step forward in patient education and stroke care,” said Charles Tegeler, M.D., a neurologist and the director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center. “Previous hospital stroke education and quality improvement activities really only measure whether the education occurred, without measuring how effective the education was to the patient. This program allows an opportunity for real quality improvement to better educate patients and their families about stroke and how to avoid another one.”
Beyond the Hospital works with multiple resources in the hospital, including pharmacists, physical, occupational and speech therapists, nutrition therapists, nurses and physicians to answer any questions patients may have about their care and recovery period.
For more information about the Beyond the Hospital program, call 336-716-2255 or visit our website at www.wfubmc.edu.

Media Contact: Rae Bush (336) 716-6878, rbush@wfubmc.edu; Bonnie Davis, bdavis@wfubmc.edu; (336) 716-4587, or Karen Richardson (336) 716-4453, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and has been ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. Wake Forest Baptist is ranked 32nd in the nation by America’s Top Doctors for the number of its doctors considered best by their peers. The institution ranks in the top third in funding by the National Institutes of Health and 4th in the Southeastern United States in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.

Media Relations

Main Number: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587