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About the Center

Cleveland Clinic has one of the highest stroke-related patient volumes in North America, with more than 3,200 visits annually. High patient volumes allow our specialists to have vast experience with stroke patients, which results in a team solely dedicated to the comprehensive care and management of strokes.

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Cleveland Clinic Receives 2013 Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award

Cleveland Clinic has received the 2013 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Cleveland Clinic’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.


Stroke Center Certification

The Cerebrovascular Center is a certified Primary Stroke Center, home to 106 neurological care specialty beds and specialty-trained nurses which care for the patients who inhabit these beds. Currently we have 22 Neurological Intensive Care Units beds, 17 Neurology Step-Down Unit beds, 17 Acute Neurological Nursing Unit beds for stroke patients and 50 Neuro Medical Surgical beds.

A Primary Stroke Center is usually housed in a hospital where a group of medical professionals who specialize in stroke, work together to diagnose, treat, and provide early rehabilitation to stroke patients. The Joint Commission’s Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. Cleveland Clinic's Primary Stroke Center provides services that have critical elements to achieve long term success in improving outcomes. We provide quality care and effectively manage the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients.

Joint Commission National Quality Approval seal

The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification program was developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association. It is based on the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers.”

The following are major components that Cleveland Clinic's Primary Stroke Center must have shown competence in to become certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center:

  • A CT or MRI scanner must be available 24 hours each day.
  • Access to neurosurgical services (access to a brain surgeon).
  • Lab tests of patients with acute stroke must be completed within 45 minutes of being ordered.
  • A physician with expertise in interpreting CT or MRI studies must be available within 20 minutes of being asked to read a study.
  • A written t-PA protocol must exist in the emergency department.
  • The Medical organization must have a declared and established commitment for acute stroke care.
  • The hospital must have written acute stroke “clinical pathways” or “career maps.”
  • An acute stroke team, including a physician and at least one other healthcare professional, must be available around the clock.
  • Follow long-term stroke treatment outcomes, and design quality improvement activities.
  • Emergency staff must have completed formal training in acute stroke treatments.
  • The hospital must have a “stroke unit”(G20, H22, 60, 62, 63; M83).
  • There must be a designated stroke center director (M. Shazam Hussain, MD).
  • The stroke team must schedule stroke medical education sessions for stroke staff.

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