Indian Stroke Association to launch accreditation program with QAI

The Indian Stroke Association (ISA) Saturday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Noida-based Quality and Accreditation Institute (QAI) to chalk out a quality accreditation program for stroke centers. If developed, this would be the first single disease-based accreditation program in India.

With a plan to issue the accreditation program by October, with a technical committee starting work on a draft standards for accreditation comprising ISA president Dr VG Pradeep Kumar, ISA secretary Dr Arvind Sharma, ISA treasurer Dr Vikram Huded, QAI technical expert and Apollo Hospital Gandhinagar CEO Neeraj Lal, QAI CEO Dr BK Rana and others.

Following the draft accreditation, it will be opened for public consultation. ISA observes October as the Stroke month, with October 29 being celebrated as the World Stroke Day.

Dr Sharma said the accreditation will be of two types—primary stroke center and advanced stroke center. Dr Rana said that following a centre’s accreditation, a continuous process of monitoring shall also ensue.

Primary stroke centers will be required to fulfill basic requirements to be an accredited center such as availability of CT scan, necessary drugs, treating physician and requisite bed capacity, while advanced stroke centers will require everything requisite for stroke care.

Dr Sharma said centers applying for accreditation will be adjudged based on duration of ‘door-to-bed’—the time taken to shift a stroke patient to a treatment facility, ‘bed to CT’—the time taken after basic laboratory diagnostics to be taken for a CT scan, ‘CT-to-needle’—time taken to thrombolysis, and in case of groin puncture, duration of ‘CT-to-groin’. Dr Sharma and Dr VG Pradeep Kumar also added that with accreditation standards in place, “it would also improve the standard of care as well as establish a stroke care pathway” for hospitals, including taluka-level and district-level hospitals.

Stroke is the second largest cause of death in India. With a four-hour golden period when a stroke patient can see better outcomes, given that every second after a stroke 32,000 neurons die, Dr Kumar said, “People waste a lot of time going to hospitals without minimum standards required in stroke care. Such an accreditation would ensure uniform stroke care across India.” Doctors can also be guided or supported through these standards.

“For example, the practice of issuing ‘code red’ at a hospital, which indicates stroke. Not all hospitals or stroke centers use this code currently,” said Dr Sharma.

Dr Rana said both government and private hospitals will be eligible to apply for the accreditation and it will be a voluntary exercise that they undertake.

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