Direct Stroke Certification | Joint Commission
Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Vimeo linkedIn Share with your Friends Print this Page
Monday 10:12 CST, April 23, 2018

Topic Details


Topic Library Item

Stroke Certification Availability

March 20, 2018

The mission at the Joint Commission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.  

Our new Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center (TSC) Certification is a prime example. We developed this program, effective January 1, 2018, offered in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association after we identified a clear public need. The goal is to support public health agencies in building stroke care systems that optimize population health outcomes and eliminate healthcare disparities.  

Our ongoing work with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association prompted our wider examination of the availability of our stroke certification programs, which establish rigorous standards for hospitals to provide consistently high quality care in response to clearly growing patient need. 

As such, we have made the important decision to make The Joint Commission’s stroke certifications available to all hospitals that meet eligibility criteria—regardless of accreditation status.  As of February 1, 2018, hospitals will no longer be required to be Joint Commission accredited to pursue our stroke certifications. 

In addition to meeting certification requirements, general eligibility requirements include a formal interdisciplinary program structure; utilization of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines; a formal approach to collecting, analyzing and interpreting performance measures; and a minimum of 10 patients served prior to initial certification review.  Hospitals also will undergo the same rigorous processes of review and compliance that we require of all organizations that hold Joint Commission accreditation or certification.

Currently, The Joint Commission certifies 153 Comprehensive Stroke Centers, more than 1,100 Primary Stroke Centers and approximately 45 Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals.  Certification will now be available for hundreds more hospitals across the country—particularly smaller hospitals and those in rural areas. This will ultimately benefit the quality of care provided for many thousands of stroke patients every year.