Certification Eligibility Criteria for Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSC) | Joint Commission
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Saturday 11:11 CST, February 13, 2016

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Revised Certification Eligibility Criteria for Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSC)

April 8, 2015

The Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Advanced Certification Program for Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSC) was developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. The CSC requirements are rigorous and will require additional technology and resources when compared to Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers (PSC).

Organizations seeking certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center must meet all of the general eligibility requirements for Disease-Specific Care certification:

  • The program is in the United States, or operated by the US government or under a charter of the US Congress.

  • The program is provided within a Joint Commission accredited organization.

  • The program must have served a designated minimum number of patients (for CSC volume requirements, see below).

  • The program uses a standardized method of delivering clinical care based on clinical practice guidelines and/or evidence-based practice.

  • The program uses performance measurement to improve its performance over time.

All standards and requirements for Primary Stroke Center certification are incorporated into the Comprehensive Stroke Center requirements.

CSCs must validate compliance with minimum case volumes during the year prior to the date of application. (At recertification, case volume data reflecting the previous two years are required.) The following details the minimum case volumes, as well as other eligibility criteria. Eligibility for Comprehensive Stroke Centers includes all of the following requirements:

  • Comprehensive Stroke Center Case Volume Requirements

  • Advanced imaging capabilities

    • The hospital will be able to provide:
      • Carotid duplex ultrasound
      • Catheter angiography available on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
      • CT angiography available on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
      • Extracranial ultrasonography
      • MR angiography (MRA) available on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
      • MRI, including diffusion-weighted MRI, available on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
      • Transcranial Doppler
      • Transesophageal echocardiography
      • Transthoracic echocardiography
  • Post-hospital care coordination for patients
  • Dedicated neuro-intensive care unit (ICU) beds for complex stroke patients
    • Dedicated neuro-ICU beds for complex stroke patients that include staff and licensed independent practitioners with the expertise and experience to provide neuro-critical care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Peer review process
    • The hospital will have a peer review process to review and monitor the care provided to patients with ischemic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage and administration of tPA.
  • Participation in stroke research
    • The CSC will participate in Institutional Review Board (IRB)–approved, patient-centered stroke research.

More details on CSC certification will be found in the Comprehensive Stroke Center certification standards.