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Improved Care for Stroke Patients: Moving Forward

Posted on January 27, 2011

Dr. Demetrius Lopes, endovascular-trained neurosurgeon and stroke treatment expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, applauds efforts by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association in refining the approach to stroke care in the United States.  The AHA and ASA have announced the development of 26 metrics which would be measured to assess a hospital’s ability to safely and effectively treat a stroke patient.   The organizations site the goals of high-quality and faster stroke care as the impetus for the new guidelines.

As reflected in the article published on-line in Stroke, the ASA and AHA strongly believe in the development and accreditation of comprehensive stroke centers, building upon the primary stroke center designation started nearly 10 years ago by the Joint Commission.  The authors of the study noted that “Experience with the establishment of primary stroke centers has demonstrated that designation of hospitals as stroke centers with formalized protocols for care and with mechanisms for monitoring their performance has been associated with improved performance.”   Moving toward a two-tiered system to include accreditation for Comprehensive Stroke Centers is believed to enhance stroke care and outcomes even further.

Dr. Lopes comments, “I think the data-driven metrics proposed by the AHA/ASA for Comprehensive Stroke Centers would push the organization and delivery of stroke care in the right direction.  In the end, it would have a great impact on improving stroke patient outcomes and quality of life.  Today, it is very disappointing to see the time lost in transferring patients from one institution to another.  Losing those precious minutes or in some cases hours, significantly reduces the available treatment options.”

Dr. Lopes’ program at Rush University Medical Center is among those that offer the full continuum of medical, surgical and endovascular interventions for patients suffering from stroke.  Dr. Lopes looks forward to an organized system whereby stroke patients are immediately directed to an institution which can optimally care for them. 

If you have any questions regarding the stroke treatment and prevention services offered at Rush University Medical Center, please respond in the space below or email Dr. Lopes at info@ChicagoStrokeMD.com.