Stroke Center Designation

KU Hospital One of First in the Nation Named Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center
December 10, 2012

The University of Kansas Hospital is one of the first five healthcare facilities in the country, and the only one in the Midwest, to be recognized as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) by The Joint Commission. This newest level of certification by The Joint Commission recognizes the significant differences in resources, staff and training necessary for the treatment of complex stroke cases.

For two days in September, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated The University of Kansas Hospital's stroke program for compliance with the new comprehensive stroke center standards and requirements. Among those requirements:

• Dedicated neuro-intensive care unit beds for complex stroke patients that provide neuro-critical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
• Advanced imaging capabilities.
• Provide care annually to 20 or more patients with a diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage; perform 15 or more endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures for aneurysm; and administer IV tPA to an average of 25 or more eligible patients.
• Coordinate post hospital care for patients
• Participate in stroke research.

"The higher standards of the CSC designation indicate that our hospital can assist all stroke patients and is better prepared - with state-of-the-art equipment, infrastructure, staff and training - to diagnose and treat patients with the most complex strokes," said Colleen Lechtenberg, MD, medical director of the stroke program at The University of Kansas Hospital.

"We're honored to be one of the first in the country to achieve this significant designation," said Bob Page, president and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital. "It means our patients can expect to receive the same kind of extraordinary stroke care they would receive at the best-known facilities in the country."

The stroke program at The University of Kansas Hospital was previously recognized as a primary stroke center by The Joint Commission in 2006, and has earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Awards for stroke and heart care.

Michael Abraham, MD, is part of the hospital's stroke team, providing neurocritical and neurointerventional care. He also conducts stroke research, and said the designation would help those projects, too.

"It definitely opens doors for the KU neurosciences departments," he said. "In Kansas, rural physicians will know that there is a center close by that can provide excellent stroke treatment."

Nearly one million Americans are hospitalized because of stroke every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

"Being a trailblazer in this certification, it was very important that our hospital took that leadership role in the stroke community," Lechtenberg said

Last modified: Jan 17, 2013
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