Stanford Health Care recertified as advanced comprehensive stroke centre

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Stanford Stroke Center

Stanford Health Care has been recertified by The Joint Commission as an advanced comprehensive stroke centre, a designation reserved for institutions with specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.

Stanford Health Care was first recognised as a Joint Commission designated primary stroke centre in 2004. Stanford Health Care then received the first ever advanced comprehensive stroke centre designation in the country in 2012, shortly after it was launched by The Joint Commission in partnership with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Since then, recertification was awarded in both 2014 and 2016, as certification lasts for a two-year period for Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.

“This advanced recertification demonstrates the tremendous commitment and expertise of Stanford Health Care caregivers to ensuring that our stroke patients receive the best possible care and treatment,” says Gregory W Albers, director of the Stanford Stroke Center. “Our doctors provide advanced multidisciplinary care for all of our patients. We are very proud that our efforts to continuously advance care using a coordinated approach has led to national recognition of our success in caring for highly complex stroke patients.”

When the team of Joint Commission surveyors came to Stanford in December 2016, they found that the hospital met or exceeded all required standards, including advanced imaging and treatment capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialised treatments, participation in research and staff and physicians who have the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

Stanford Health Care uses a multidisciplinary group of specialists in the fields of vascular neurology, neurocritical care, neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, neuroimaging, neurology hospitalists, rehabilitation, emergency medicine, social work, pharmacy and nutrition, all using a coordinated approach to care for complex stroke patients.

The Stanford approach to stroke care

“One of the hallmarks of the Stanford programme is its system for urgent transfers and immediate access to treatment,” Albers continues. “For patients experiencing an acute ischaemic stroke, Stanford offers ultra RAPID transport coordinated by the Transfer Center, immediate access to advanced neuroimaging upon arrival and guaranteed ICU and Cath Lab access 24/7.” Over the past 25 years, the Stanford Stroke Center has provided care for more than 26,000 inpatients with cerebrovascular disorders. Nine physicians are on call for stroke emergencies at all times.

In addition to providing patient care, the Stanford team has pioneered major advances in medical therapies, neurosurgical techniques and interventional neuroradiological procedures, participated in more than 250 clinical stroke trials and published more than 1,000 articles in scientific journals. The programme receives extensive NIH grant support and contributes extensive research findings to the AHA’s International Stroke Meeting each year.

The Stanford Stroke Center has also been instrumental in developing national guidelines on stroke care beginning in 1993 with its guidelines on management of transient ischaemic attacks. Since then, it has developed or modified national guidelines for stroke treatment and prevention, transient ischaemic attack definition, diagnosis and evaluation and stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation.