Accreditation

Stroke care saves money, empowers staff at one facility

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, May 1, 2005

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Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series about JCAHO primary stroke center certification. Last month's article addressed the need for a stroke program and explored one medical center's experience building a stroke team. This month's article looks at that medical center's experience with the JCAHO, the results of its stroke program, and how to start one at your facility.

When Swedish Medical Center in Seattle first looked at JCAHO primary stroke center certification, Bill Likosky, MD, says the hospital saw an opportunity to meet an emerging standard.

"Stroke care is not doing something exotic," says Likosky, Swedish's stroke program director. "The certification process is [about] implementing the obvious, which is not easy to do. But if you don't have a program that affects every patient, don't expect good quality outcomes for every patient."

Stroke care and ultimately stroke certification involves more than just having structures such as highly trained individuals, stroke units, state-of-the-art imaging, and administrative support in place. It also means having processes in place such as nursing care paths and guidelines, and evidence-based doctor's orders.

"If you have all those things in place, you can provide good quality stroke care," Likosky says, as well as meet the JCAHO program's 10 core measures to earn certification (see p. 3 of the April 2005 BOJ for a list of the measures).

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