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Joint Commission certifies 2 Primary Stroke Centers at Penn Medicine

PHILADELPHIA - Two Penn Medicine hospitals have received Primary Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission for efforts to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients. All three Penn Medicine hospitals are now certified to optimally treat stroke patients: Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center each received Primary Stroke Center certifications this summer and join the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), which has been certified as a Primary Stroke Center since 2004. Penn Medicine is the first Philadelphia health system to get certification for stroke care at all member hospitals.

Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center received Primary Stroke Center certification following a Joint Commission review where both facilities were found to be in compliance with the requirements for The Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as primary stroke center requirements, such implementing evidence based protocols and collecting the Joint Commission core measure data to use in performance improvement activities.

"This is a major step forward for Pennsylvania Hospital and the community we serve," said Howard I. Hurtig, MD, chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital, co-director of the Penn Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center and professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "By giving us their stamp of approval, The Joint Commission recognizes our ability to provide the very best care to patients with stroke."

A recent Penn Medicine study led by Michael Mullen, MD, assistant professor of Neurology and Vascular Medicine, presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting showed that the emergence of primary stroke centers certified by The Joint Commission has steadily improved the treatment of stroke patients. In Philadelphia, ambulances started bringing stroke patients exclusively to designated primary or comprehensive stroke centers in October 2011, rather than the closest hospital.

"Primary Stroke Center designation at Penn Presbyterian by the Joint Commission is another way to recognize the excellent care that our staff delivers to our patients," said Sami Khella, MD, chair of Neurology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Director of Stroke Services, and clinical associate professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine.

"Working with our colleagues throughout Penn Medicine, we are giving patients the highest chance of survival and lowering the possibility of permanent disability," said Scott Kasner, MD, director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at HUP and professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center's team of neurovascular experts - from Neurology, Radiology, Nursing and Neurosurgery - provides quality, evidence-based care at the right level and right time, through remote diagnosis via telemedicine, onsite treatment provided at affiliated primary stroke centers, or with advanced neurosurgical or neuroradiological interventions available at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn Medicine extends stroke care to patients outside Philadelphia through the Penn NeuroRescue program, using telemedicine systems to bring expert consultations 24/7 to hospitals in distant locales, and transferring those who need surgery and/or specialized neurointensive critical care to HUP.

Developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association and launched in 2003, The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification program is based on the Brain Attack Coalition's "Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers." Certification is available only to stroke programs in Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.


Contact: Kim Menard
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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