Stroke Care: Working for Faster, Better Outcomes for Patients

OHSU earns Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) certification for meeting standards of clinical readiness and patient safety.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke remains one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. But it is also treatable and beatable.

To address this, a growing number of states are creating formal stroke center designations as part of an overarching effort to quickly direct stroke emergencies to the most qualified facilities. That’s where the DNV GL, a third-party certification body, comes in.

Last month, OHSU hosted a site visit for the DNV GL certification audit team, which assessed the hospital for its ability and expertise to diagnose and treat stroke patients who require intensive medical and surgical care.

For patients, this means quicker diagnosis, emergency response and treatment, acute care following a stroke, and neurorehabilitation and physical therapy.

What is the OHSU Stroke Center?

The OHSU Stroke Center became the first Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in the Northwest in 2011, recognized by The Joint Commission accrediting body. Today, with the new DNV GL certification, OHSU is one of only four in Oregon that is designated as a CSC facility.

“Our center is unique because it’s a multidisciplinary collaboration between physicians, nurses and specialists, who all input into the patient’s care plan in order to progress to the best outcomes,” said Noah Jacobson, OHSU stroke program coordinator.

“The team works together to provide advanced care for stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders at the time of need, but we also screen and enroll patients in clinical trials that help advance stroke treatments for the future.”

As of this year, OHSU has enrolled more than 150 active patients in clinical trials, ranging from stem cell therapies to innovative methods to remove clots for ischemic strokes.

“We’re proud of the way everyone works together to care for patients to progress them through their stay,” adds Jacobson. “Ultimately, we’re charged with providing the highest quality of care, and DNV GL provides that accountability that helps us maintain those high standards.”

What is a Comprehensive Stroke Center?

The DNV GL’s Comprehensive Stroke Center certification is the highest designation available for U.S. hospitals. The program rewards a healthcare facility that “delivers the highest quality of care to the most complex cases offering evidence-based treatments with cutting edge research protocols.”

CSCs can treat patients suffering hemorrhagic or large ischemic strokes with follow up care in an intensive care unit. Other requirements include comparing actual versus potential patient outcomes, auditing clinical and staff records, and visiting patient care settings.

Comprehensive Stroke Centers also function as a resource center for other facilities in the area to offer guidance to community hospitals, such as telestroke consults offered through OHSU’s Telemedicine Network.

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