Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center 

Joint Commission Gold Seal of ApprovalAtlanta Medical Center designated as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission

Atlanta Medical Center’s stroke program has been designated as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The Joint Commission's Certificate of Distinction for Advanced Primary Stroke Centers recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. This gold seal of approval signals that Atlanta Medical Center’s stroke program[1]:

  • is patient centered
  • employs performance measures to promote continuous improvement in health status
  • encourages interaction and communication among the provider team
  • uses nationally recognized treatment guidelines

The Joint Commission's Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification program was developed in collaboration with the American Stroke Association. It is based on the Brain Attack Coalition's recommendations for the establishment of Primary Stroke Centers[2].

Improving Care

The Brain Attack Coalition, a group of 14 national organizations including the American Academy of Neurololgy, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Society of Neuroradiology and the American Stroke Association, developed joint recommendations for hospitals to create stroke care centers as a way to improve the quality of care for stroke patients.

According to the Brain Attack Coalition, hospitals with stroke centers have shown improved treatment times for stroke care and better patient outcomes. Atlanta Medical Center has found the stroke center approach helps diagnose and treat strokes more quickly.

The concept for the stroke care centers is similar to that of a trauma center combining the resources of a number of specialties to quickly evaluate and treat patients with complex medical needs. Like a trauma center, the stroke center team works closely with local emergency medical services so that proper care can begin before the patient arrives at the hospital.

The stroke team includes physicians such as neurologists or neurosurgeons who specialize in the care of strokes. Nurses from the hospital’s emergency department or intensive care centers also are part of the stroke team. The team is available around the clock to respond when a patient with stroke symptoms comes to the hospital.

The goal of a stroke team is to promptly assess the patient’s condition and order the tests needed to diagnose the type of stroke involved. The team also works to stabilize the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and other vital functions. If the tests show that the patient’s stroke is the result of a blood clot blocking a vein in the brain, then tPA can be given to help break up the clot. The team’s goal is to begin tPA within three hours of the first symptoms of a stroke.

To learn more about stroke care, call us at 888-457-5204.


[1] Joint Commission brochure “Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers”