The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has developed a program to evaluate and certify hospital programs that respond to strokes, the nation's third leading cause of death. In collaboration with the American Stroke Association, a JCAHO review of applicant organizations will assess compliance with accepted standards for stroke care as well as performance measurement and improvement activities. The evaluation also will assess qualifications and competence of practitioners, processes established to encourage patient self-management and use of clinical information systems to monitor patient management. Stroke centers that demonstrate compliance with program requirements will be awarded a one-year certification, with a one-year extension contingent on a "periodic performance review" and the results of performance measurement and management activities. The program aims to help standardize the care provided for stroke patients while giving the public and medical professionals a way to differentiate hospitals equipped to treat strokes, said Charles Mowll, JCAHO executive vice president for business development, government and external relations. -- by John Morrissey
JCAHO to certify hospital stroke programs
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