The goal of the Stroke System of Care is to reduce morbidity and mortality through early recognition of stroke symptoms, the initiation of treatment soon after the onset of symptoms, and transition to an official Stroke Center.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in Mississippi. Timely intervention in acute ischemic stroke offers significant reductions in neurological deficits and disability that can result from stroke.
Unlike Trauma and STEMI systems of care, where it is essential to get the patient to a specialty facility in the shortest amount of time, stroke care can be initiated locally with consultation from a nurse practitioner trained in stroke care, either by telephone or telemedicine.
The Mississippi Stroke System of Care is a collaborative effort between the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Mississippi Healthcare Alliance, the American Heart Association, and the Mississippi Hospital Association.
Level 1 Stroke Center
- Neurologist, Neurosurgeon and Endovascular specialists available 24/7
- Capable of performing interventional neurology
- Has personnel, infrastructure, and expertise to diagnose and treat stroke patients who require intensive medical, surgical and interventional vascular care.
Level 2 Stroke Center
- Must have all of the requirements of Level 1, excluding endovascular capabilities
Level 3 Stroke Center
- Have the ability to diagnose and stabilize patient for transfer to Level 1 or 2 Referring Center
Level 4 Stroke Center
- Able to assess and evaluate for possible stroke, but lacks essential components to treat patients with IV thrombolytics
- Transition plans must be established to facilitate rapid transfer to Level 1 or 2
Protocols and Destination Guidelines
- Field triage is important with strokes, and is conducted by EMS personnel who determine whether the patient meets the system entry criteria based on administration of a universal (Cincinnati) stroke scale.
- Transport to closest hospital with CT and capable of administering tPA
Advisory Committee and Performance Improvement
The Mississippi Stroke System Advisory Committee (SSAC) meets quarterly for system guidance and governance.
All stroke participating hospitals will have data reviewed by MSDH, the Mississippi Healthcare Alliance, and the Stroke Performance Improvement Committee for the purpose of performance improvement.
Stroke hospitals must participate with the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines database, which provides an overall look at stroke emergencies, care and outcomes, provides information for use in determining and developing stroke teaching programs, and provides information for potential research studies.