Facts about Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers | Joint Commission
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Facts about Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers

July 15, 2014

In September 2012, The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launched Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSCs). This new level of certification recognizes the significant resources in infrastructure, staff, and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to provide state-of-the-art complex stroke care.

Comprehensive Stroke Centers Certification

Certification is available only to comprehensive stroke centers in Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals. Organizations seeking CSC certification must meet all of the general eligibility requirements for Disease-Specific Care and Primary Stroke Center certification. In addition, CSCs are required to:

  • Have dedicated neuro-intensive care unit beds for complex stroke patients that provide neuro-critical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Use advanced imaging capabilities.
  • Meet minimum requirements for providing care to patients with a diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage; performing endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures for aneurysm; and administering IV tPA.
  • Coordinate post-hospital care for patients.
  • Use a peer review process to evaluate and monitor the care provided to patients with ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Participate in stroke research.

Current performance measurement
Certified comprehensive stroke centers are required to meet the performance measurement requirements for primary stroke centers – collect data for the eight stroke core measures and submit monthly data points every quarter through the Certification Measure Information Process (CMIP). The stroke core (STK) measures can be found in the Specifications Manual for National Hospital Inpatient Quality Measures. Comprehensive stroke programs will be required to implement specifications and collect data for the eight new comprehensive stroke (CSTK) measures beginning with discharges after January 1, 2015. Data for these eight CSTK measures will be collected in addition to the eight stroke (STK) core measures required for primary stroke center certification, elevating the performance measure requirement for comprehensive stroke certification to a total of 16 measures.

Benefits of comprehensive stroke center certification

  • Improves the quality of care provided to patients
  • Demonstrates commitment to a higher standard of service
  • Provides a framework for organizational structure and management
  • Gives a competitive edge in the marketplace
  • Uses standardized performance measures
  • Recognizes those hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases

For more information
If you have questions, please send them to DSCInfo@jointcommision.org or call 630-792-5291. See also the Disease-Specific Care Certification and Primary Stroke Center Certification websites.