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Stroke Center Has Lowest Ischemic Stroke Death Rate in US

Cedars-Sinai's Mortality Rate for Stroke Patients Has Been Named ‘Better Than the National Rate’ Since 2014

Cedars-Sinai's Comprehensive Stroke Center has the lowest mortality rate in the U.S. for ischemic strokes among Medicare patients, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The hospital's ischemic stroke 30-day mortality rate among Medicare patients from July 2016 through June 2019 was the lowest of all 2,440 hospitals measured, at 8.7%. Cedars-Sinai's rate is 4.9% lower than the national average rate of 13.6% and 0.5% lower than that of New York University, which had the next lowest rate at 9.2%.

"This achievement is the result of the collective efforts of all the Comprehensive Stroke Center team members and medical staff, who deliver excellent, compassionate care to patients in these moments of crisis," said Nancy Sicotte, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology. "Our patients and their families can rest assured that when they come to Cedars-Sinai they're getting the best care."

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services collects data for all U.S. hospitals that have at least 25 ischemic stroke cases during the rolling three-year reporting period. Hospitals are then placed into categories of “worse than the national rate,” “no different than the national rate” and “better than the national rate.” The reports are made available through the government website Hospital Compare.

Cedars-Sinai's ischemic stroke 30-day mortality rate has rated “better than the national rate” since the CMS began reporting the data in 2014.

Shlee Song, MD, co-director of Cedars-Sinai's Comprehensive Stroke Center and Telestroke Program, attributes the success to the team's focus on improving treatment times.

"It takes a huge amount of coordination to care for our stroke patients, and we have our medical center team members supporting us on our mission to deliver the best stroke care we can," Song said. "This includes the surgeons, physicians and nurses, the lab team to get our results quickly so we can make decisions quickly, pharmacists to mix our needed drugs at the bedside, imaging staff to get our patients scanned quickly at CT or MRI, our Neuro ICU, our consultant colleagues to help us co-manage patients, and many others."

"Access to acute stroke care in our region is a priority, and we continue to work together with colleagues across the health system to deliver on emergency stroke care," Song said.