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Health Information Stroke Center Gets the Gold

Rush University Medical Center in Chicago 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.

"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," says Shyam Prabhakaran, MD, MS, 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."

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," says 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 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.

Approximately 600 inpatients with stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders are treated each year at Rush University Medical Center by a multidisciplinary team that includes stroke neurologists, cerebrovascular neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, 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.

More Information at Your Fingertips:

  • For more information about stroke and stroke rehabilitative services at Rush visit our Stroke and Cerebral Vascular Disease home page.
  • Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: 888 352-RUSH (7874)

Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.

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