Lutheran becomes first hospital in northern Indiana to receive Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (June 29, 2018) — For some medical emergencies, even the slightest delay in care can ultimately be the difference between a patient’s full recovery and their permanent disability. For this reason, many states, including Indiana, are asking first responders and the healthcare community to work together to develop protocols for multiple conditions that ensure patients are receiving an appropriate level of care as quickly as possible.

In this region, Lutheran Hospital has risen above the rest for the delivery of advanced stroke care. Lutheran announced today that it has become the first hospital in northern Indiana, and only the second in the state, to receive certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, which reflects the highest level of competence for treatment of serious stroke events. Lutheran earned this important designation through DNV GL – Healthcare, a company that has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to certify hospitals since 2008.

“With stroke care, you must have the best clinicians and resources, but also the ability to act organizationally with extreme efficiency because of the time-critical nature of these events,” said Paula Autry, chief executive officer, Lutheran Hospital. “This certification from DNV GL validates all the effort we have put into this program and to ensuring the health and safety of our patients.”

The DNV GL - Healthcare Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification is based on standards set forth by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association, and affirms that the hospital addresses the full spectrum of stroke care – diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education – and establishes clear metrics to evaluate outcomes.

“Achieving certification shows commitment to excellence,” said Patrick Horine, CEO of DNV GL - Healthcare. “And, it helps demonstrate to your community that you are performing at the highest level.”

Comprehensive stroke centers are typically the largest and best-equipped hospitals in a given geographical area that can treat any kind of stroke or stroke complication. In a growing number of states, stroke center certification determines to which facility a patient should be taken for the most appropriate, reimbursable care.

In April 2017, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana House Bill 1145. Now on the books as Public Law 138, guidelines for emergency services personnel have been established that, among other things, require the emergency medical services commission to “adopt rules concerning protocols for the identification, transport, and treatment of stroke patients by personnel providing emergency medical services.”

The Lutheran Comprehensive Stroke Center offers:

• Acute stroke team available 24/7, including:

     - neurointerventionalists

     - neurosurgeons

     - neurologists

• Advanced imaging technology
• CT located in the emergency department
• Stroke-dedicated beds and neuro ICU
• Nurses and staff trained in stroke-specific care
• Patient-centered stroke research

As a comprehensive stroke center, requirements include:

• Door to physician – less than 10 minutes
• Door to stroke team – less than 15 minutes
• Door to CT/MRI initiation – less than 25 minutes
• Door to CT interpretation – less than 45 minutes
• Door to intervention – less than 120 minutes

Surveyors from DNV GL traveled to Lutheran earlier this month to assess the hospital’s stroke program and work collaboratively to address opportunities for further improvement. Hospitals must undergo annual reviews to maintain DNV GL Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification. This is in contrast to most other advanced certifications, which are typically renewed once every three to five years by other certifying organizations.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For more information about DNV GL - Healthcare, visit


Media Contacts

Geoff Thomas
Public Relations Supervisor
(260) 435-7122

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*A physician owned hospital.