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Methodist Hospital of Southern California

Achieving excellence in care for stroke patients

Stroke is a leading cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Research shows that hospitals that follow best practices in stroke care can help lower mortality rates, reduce unnecessary readmissions and improve quality of life for patients.

As part of its commitment to quality and safety, Methodist Hospital of Southern California’s stroke program offers a variety of treatments according to nationally recognized clinical care process improvement guidelines. The program has achieved many program milestones and successes during the past decade.

“There are many examples of lives saved and lives improved because of the stellar care our stroke team provides.”

Achieving Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

To improve stroke care for residents, Los Angeles County issued a directive in 2016 that required Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification to maintain the highest level of stroke designation within the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (LAC/ EMS) network of approved stroke centers. LAC/EMS began re-routing certain patients preferentially to facilities that hold this certification.

Guidelines govern a wide range of stroke treatment components, including timely assessments, administration of appropriate medication within a certain period, as well as education and rehabilitation planning. For example, patients who have suffered a thrombotic stroke (caused by a blood clot), should receive IV Alteplase Tissue Plasminogen Activator (t-PA) within 3 to 4.5 hours of having a stroke, depending on the patient.

Earning recognition for exceptional outcomes

Methodist’s compliance rates are at or above the national safety standard and has been recognized with several awards by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association over the last decade.

Compliance with these guidelines has enabled the hospital to achieve exceptional results. For example, 99%-100% of Methodist Hospital stroke patients received appropriate prevention for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), antithrombotic medication within 48 hours of hospitalization, stroke education and smoking cessation advice. Performance on several other measures exceed the 85% compliance requirement.

Key Outcomes

  • Stroke program received certification from rating agency DNV GL and an award from the American Heart Association
  • 100% given appropriate prevention for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • 99% discharged on antithrombotics
  • 100% of those with atrial fibrillation receive anticoagulation therapy
  • 91% Tissue Plasminogen Activator (t-PA) was appropriately given
  • 99% receiving antithrombotic medication within 48 hours of hospitalization
  • 92% screened for dysphagia
  • 99% given stroke education

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