Establishment of Government-Initiated Comprehensive Stroke Centers for Acute Ischemic Stroke Management in South Korea
Background and Purpose—In 2008, the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea initiated the Regional Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) program to decrease the incidence and mortality of stroke nationwide. We evaluated the performance of acute ischemic stroke management after the Regional CSC program was introduced.
Methods—The Ministry of Health and Welfare established 9 Regional CSCs in different provinces from 2008 to 2010. All Regional CSCs have been able to execute the critical processes independently for stroke management since 2011. The Ministry of Health and Welfare was responsible for program development and financial support, the Regional CSC for program execution, and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for auditing the execution. We analyzed prospectively collected data on the required indices from 2011 and repeated the analysis the following year for comparison.
Results—After the Regional CSCs were established, the first brain image was taken within 1 hour from arrival at the emergency room for all patients with stroke; the length of hospital stay decreased from 14 to 12 days; for the rapid execution of thrombolysis, the first brain image was taken within 12 minutes; intravenous and intra-arterial thrombolysis were started within 40 and 110 minutes, respectively, after emergency room arrival; and the hospital stay of thrombolytic patients decreased from 19 to 15 days.
Conclusions—The Regional CSC program has improved the performance of acute stroke management in South Korea and can be used as a model for rapidly improving stroke management.
- Received May 14, 2014.
- Revision received June 9, 2014.
- Accepted June 16, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.