July 9, 2018 — The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) recently recognized the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) as the first mobile stroke unit in the world to achieve IAC Computed Tomography (CT) accreditation. A three-year accreditation in the areas of Neurological CT/Acute Stroke and Vascular CTA (Computed Tomography Angiography) was awarded to the UTHSC Mobile Stroke Unit in May 2018.
The UTHSC Mobile Stroke Unit serves the community by reducing the time to diagnose and manage patients presenting with acute stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic) or transient ischemic attack (TIA) symptoms. The concept behind the unit is improving the odds of recovery from stroke, the fifth leading cause of death and the No. 1 cause of permanent disability in adults in the United States. Since its inception in 2016, the UTHSC Mobile Stroke Unit has responded to 911 calls for patients presenting with stroke symptoms on average of four to five times per day in the Memphis area. Through this innovation, the team is able to administer appropriate treatment on average 72 minutes faster than traditional hospital response, dramatically improving the odds of recovery from stroke.
The stroke chain of survival is heavily dependent upon rapid access to high-resolution CT scanning, with CTA acquisition of the aortic arch, carotid arteries and the brain vasculature to accurately diagnose candidates for reperfusion imaging, including thrombectomy. Therefore, it is critical that the many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on CT imaging are in place and validated in both fixed and mobile settings. IAC accreditation provides a thorough review by a panel of medical experts to assess all aspects of the facility including:
- The training and experience of both the operator performing the procedure and the interpreting physician;
- The type of CT equipment used;
- Adherence to radiation dose guidelines; and
- Required quality assessment metrics.
By earning IAC CT accreditation, UTHSC’s mobile stroke unit has undergone an intensive application and review process and is found to be in compliance with the published Standards, thus demonstrating a commitment to quality patient care in CT imaging. IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement.
“Our innovative conversion of a truck originally designed as a mobile CT laboratory to a mobile stroke unit, created an opportunity to bring the best care immediately to acute stroke patients in the field. We chose to pursue IAC CT accreditation to demonstrate excellence of our mobile stroke unit CT/CTA operation. IAC CT accreditation assures the public that we are providing them with high quality imaging during this vulnerable and frightening acute stroke event,” said Andrei V. Alexandrov, M.D., RVT, chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Semmes-Murphey Professor.
“The IAC is honored to award CT accreditation to the UTHSC Mobile Stroke Unit in recognition of the expertise of the unit’s staff and the integrity of the CT unit as it relates to the safety of the patients and staff and the quality of the images. The UTHSC team has set the bar high for all other facilities that provide mobile CT stroke services,” said Mary Lally, MS, CAE, IAC CEO.
For more information: www.intersocietal.org
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