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Hospital Given First Certification for Stroke Care

The Methodist Neurological Institute’s Eddy Scurlock Stroke Center is the first hospital in the nation to receive a comprehensive stroke center certification. The center has been at the forefront of efforts to establish national quality metrics and patient outcome data for comprehensive stroke centers. The facility offers stroke patients a wide range of clinical research trials aimed at improving outcomes, survival, and prevention of stroke recurrence.

“For the past four years, our stroke team has used 13 quality measures under consideration for a national comprehensive stroke center model,” said David C. Chiu, M.D., medical director of Methodist’s stroke center. “It’s gratifying to know that these measures are included in DNV’s certification criteria, and that our patients, along with those at all other nationally-recognized comprehensive centers, will receive the same standard of care."

Chiu authored a paper on proposed comprehensive stroke center criteria. The criteria, now included in DNV’s certification, includes timeliness of brain imaging, stroke severity score documentation, and measures including morbidity and mortality rates for stroke, cerebral aneurysm, and diagnostic and therapeutic imaging.

The Eddy Scurlock Stroke Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston is the largest dedicated stroke unit in the Texas Medical Center. The center combines the services of specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, neuropsychology and neuro-rehabilitation to deliver the region’s best care to stroke patients.

Methodist’s stroke center is one of five institutions to launch the first multicenter clinical trial of stem cell therapy studying the use of human stem cells as a possible treatment for acute ischemic stroke. Clinicians are investigating novel drug therapies and neurostimulation strategies to promote recovery after acute stroke.

Vascular neurologist John Volpi, M.D. directs Methodist’s Collaborative Cerebral Blood Flow Lab, a joint effort of the Neurological Institute and the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery. Through the use of transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasounds, physicians are able to produce blood flow imaging of the brain and measure blood velocity in the head and neck.  Researchers are hopeful that the data collected will aid in monitoring the recovery process of patients after stroke or patients with other cerebrovascular and neurologic diseases, including dementia and concussion. 

The center continues to be committed to community outreach and education focused on stroke prevention and treatment. Through the work of a full time stroke educator, the center hosts numerous outreach initiatives, including educational seminars, community events and health clinics for high-risk patient populations. In addition, the center coordinates support groups for stroke patients and caregivers.

Provider outreach programs have been established to build relationships with Emergency Medical Services and rural hospitals.  In 2012, the center partnered with the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC) to develop a continuing medical education program entitled Defining the Stroke System of Care. Designed for EMS personnel, registered and advanced practice nurses, stroke coordinators and hospital administrators, the program focuses on educating hospitals throughout the region on the stroke center certification processes for the three levels of stroke care and the specific metrics and accreditation process for the comprehensive stroke center certification.

By: Courtesy, The Methodist Hospital System

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"The center has been at the forefront of efforts to establish national quality metrics and patient outcome data for comprehensive stroke centers."

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