Mischer Neuroscience Institute: Texas' First and Only Stroke Program to be Awarded Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers
HOUSTON - The Mischer Neuroscience
Institute (MNI) at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center achieved a
significant milestone recently after being recognized by The Joint
Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke
Association as meeting The Joint Commission's standards for
Disease-Specific Care Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification. MNI is
the first and only stroke program in the state of Texas to meet such
standards. The certification solidifies MNI's place in an elite group of
providers focused on complex stroke care. Complex Stroke Centers are
recognized as industry leaders and are responsible for setting the
national agenda in highly specialized stroke care.
"By achieving this advanced certification, the Mischer Neuroscience
Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center has thoroughly
demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of its
patients with a complex stroke condition," said Mark R. Chassin, M.D.,
president of The Joint Commission. "Certification is a voluntary process
and The Joint Commission commends MNI for successfully undertaking this
challenge to elevate the standard of care for the community it serves."
"The Comprehensive Stroke Certification is many steps above the
Primary Stroke Certification designation by The Joint Commission," said
James Grotta, M.D., director of MNI's Stroke Program and chairman of the
Neurology department at UTHealth Medical School. "There are very
particular and exacting requirements, and to achieve this advanced
certification is something that only 37 centers across the country have
been able to accomplish and none other in Texas."
Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes those hospitals
that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive
and treat patients with the most complex strokes. MNI underwent a
rigorous onsite review earlier this year during which Joint Commission
experts reviewed the institute's compliance with the stringent
Comprehensive Stroke Center standards and requirements, including
advanced imaging capabilities, around-the-clock availability of
specialized treatments, and staff with the unique education and
competencies to care for complex stroke patients.
"This certification speaks not only to the excellence of our stroke
program but also to the incredible teamwork of everyone at MNI, from our
world-renowned neurosurgeons and neurologists to the hardworking nurses
and physical therapists and everyone in between," said Amanda Spielman,
system executive of neurosciences for Memorial Hermann Health System.
"That's what sets us apart from other centers: our ability to
collaborate together successfully to implement significant improvements
to a stroke program which is already leading the way in patient care."
"The Comprehensive Stroke Certification is heavily data-oriented,
which allowed us to see evidence-based opportunities for making our
stroke care even better," said Nicole Harrison, R.N., administrative
director of MNI. "We increased our focus to include both ischemic and
hemorrhagic stroke, we made significant improvements to our peer review
process, and we also implemented a cognitive screening and depression
screening process for every patient prior to discharge and
According to Harrison, a stroke leadership committee was formed to
help oversee and guide the processes necessary to achieve the
certification. The committee was made up of physicians and other
caregivers from across the Campus -- including the Emergency department,
Interventional Radiology, Education and more. For the past six months,
the group has held a weekly two-hour meeting to ensure that all
standards of practice and protocols -- both new and existing -- are
completely integrated across every discipline.
"Education is an integral piece of this certification, and we are
already seeing the benefits for our patients," added Harrison. "It's a
two-year certification, but we have built the infrastructure to ensure
that we will sustain and continue to do better. We are already seeing
improvements in our outcomes, such as door-to-needle times for tPA
administration in stroke patients."
In order to ensure the stroke program had the necessary support to be
considered a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission,
several new team members were added, including additional stroke
coordinators, data extractors and advanced nurse practitioners. Harrison
credits hospital administration with ensuring the MNI's success
throughout the certification endeavor. "Our administrative leadership
team was crucial in securing the resources we needed to make this
certification happen," she said. "Without that support, we could not
have achieved this significant milestone."