Rush University Medical Center has earned the "Gold Seal of Approval" from the Joint Commission for primary stroke centers. This certification recognizes hospitals that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. The certified primary stroke programs tailor treatment to individual needs as well as encourage communication, adhere to national stroke guidelines and continually assess and improve how care is delivered.

To earn this distinction, the stroke program undergoes an extensive, on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers every two years. The program is evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of a program's processes, the program's ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.

"This certification means Rush University Medical Center does the right things and does them well for stroke patients," said Jean E. Range, MS, RN, CPHQ, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

"The stroke team at Rush is very proud of the distinction and the high standards we achieved in our first year as a stroke program," said Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran, stroke neurologist. "Of course, this achievement is only a start, as continual performance surveillance and improvement are essential to maintaining such high standards. We will keep up this great work and continue to provide the best stroke care possible for our patients."

The inpatient neurology stroke team at Rush is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond immediately to acute stroke patients. Rush also has a 17 bed neuroscience intensive care unit (ICU) with a dedicated CT scanner in the unit. The outpatient comprehensive cerebrovascular clinic offers neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurses and other professionals who specialize in the diagnoses, treatment, study and prevention of strokes and other related neurological problems.

Specialists at Rush provide advanced medical treatment, using drugs that quickly dissolve blood clots and innovative endovascular procedures to remove blood clots and preserve brain cells when blood flow to the brain is blocked. This treatment can reduce the brain damage and disability that result from a stroke.

In addition to immediate treatment, Rush provides comprehensive specialized follow-up care for those coping with the aftermath of a stroke or stroke-related condition. Stroke neurologists work closely with physical and occupational therapists to develop plans that help patients recover from the disabling effects of strokes and lower the risks of future strokes.

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and is the third largest cause of death, ranking just behind heart disease and cancer. In the United States, the annual occurrence of stroke is conservatively estimated at more than 700,000 annually. The anticipated direct and indirect costs of ischemic stroke in the United States have risen from $29 billion in 1990 to $58 billion in 2006.

The Joint Commission launched its Disease-Specific Care Certification program in 2002. It is the first program of its kind in the country to certify disease management programs. A list of programs certified by the Joint Commission is available at jointcommission.

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations.

Approximately 600 inpatients with stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders are treated each year at Rush University Medical Center by a multi-disciplinary team that includes stroke neurologists, cerebrovascular neurosurgeons, neuro-radiologists, stroke-trained nurses, rehabilitation services, and physical therapists. Rush was ranked 15th in the nation in neurology and neurosurgery, according to the U.S.News and World Report.

Rush University Medical Center

Tag Cloud