HFAP, America’s original healthcare accreditation program founded in 1945, was recently named an approved accreditation agency for acute care hospital stroke centers in the State of New York. HFAP will survey hospitals seeking certification to confirm they meet certain criteria to provide advanced stroke care at primary, thrombectomy-capable and comprehensive stroke centers starting March 20, 2019.
The announcement comes after the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) launched new regulations to “ensure access to quality, evidence-based stroke care for all patients across all levels of stroke care designation, establish a framework to support regional operationalization of transport processes for suspected stroke, and continue full reporting of data for evaluation and monitoring of systems of stroke care,” according to the department.
“HFAP’s rigorous stroke certification requirements mirror those established by the NYSDOH, emphasizing access to care, ongoing quality improvement and coordination with other providers in the region,” said Meg Gravesmill, CEO of HFAP. “With the second lowest stroke mortality rate in the nation, New York is leading the way in developing stroke care protocols across the state. We look forward to partnering with hospitals in New York to increase access to high-quality stroke care and improve the services available to affected patients.”
Hospitals will have a two-year transition period to enter into a contractual agreement with HFAP or other approved certifying organization, followed by one year to complete the certification process. Once certified, hospitals must communicate and collaborate with other designated stroke centers to provide access to care for patients through a coordinated agreement, as well as EMS providers at the regional and state level to establish destination protocols. Designated stroke centers will also be required to participate in ongoing quality improvement activities.
According to the American Heart Association, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds on average, with stroke accounting for one in every 19 deaths in 2016. Stroke ranks fifth among all causes of deaths in the U.S., taking the lives of approximately 142,000 people annually.
HFAP offers four levels of stroke certification: stroke ready, primary stroke, thrombectomy and comprehensive. Each certification option includes standards addressing governance, delivery of clinical services and infrastructure support. Within this framework, the requirements are tied to the specific level of program complexity, and centers must submit quarterly reports on performance measures relevant to the level of care provided.
To learn more about the NYSDOH stroke center requirements, please visit https://health.ny.gov/diseases/cardiovascular/stroke/designation/index.htm.