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Saint Francis Named Level II Stroke Center

March 24, 2015

Saint Francis Medical Center has earned Level II Stroke Center designation, the newest component of the Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) System, from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

The statewide TCD brings together the 911-response system, ambulance services and hospitals in a coordinated way to provide patients the right care, at the right place, in the right amount of time. With designated Stroke Centers in place, the goal of the system is for individuals suffering a stroke to receive quicker response times and improved survival and recovery rates.

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 Americans each year, or one out of every 20 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Saint Francis treats more than 500 patients every year for stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack, a warning sign for a future stroke).

DHSS released a list on Monday of 43 designated stroke centers in the state. Level I Centers function as a resource center within a region and conducts research, maintaining specialized resources for the most complex patients. Level II Centers generally provide definitive care to high volumes of trauma and stroke patients within a region. Level III centers play an important role in providing access into the system and important patient care in non-metropolitan areas and generally refer to a higher-level center for definitive care. Level IV centers, a key entry point into the system, provide access into the system in rural areas and stabilize and prepare patients for rapid transfer to a higher level of care.

The designation is voluntary. Hospitals must contact DHSS to apply; the agency then conducts a thorough review that includes auditing, observations and interviews. The designation is valid for five years.

Saint Francis Medical Center’s Neurosciences Institute provides advanced diagnostics, procedures, treatment and care for injuries and illnesses of the brain, spine and nerves. Saint Francis’ Stroke Center is accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading accreditation organization committed to improving safety and quality in healthcare, and currently holds The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care.

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