Georgia Coverdell Stroke Registry
Coverdell Registry Background and Purpose
Named in honor of the late Senator Paul Coverdell of Georgia, who died of a massive stroke in 2000, the primary goal of the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry (GCASR) program is to improve the care of acute stroke patients in the hospital setting. The program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control Paul S. Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry cooperative agreement and was established in 2001 as a prototype project implemented by the Emory University School of Medicine. Full implementation and incorporation into the State’s Division of Public Health (DPH) began in 2005.
This program addresses quality improvement in multiple areas of stroke care, from rapid screening, diagnosis, and intervention for patients experiencing an acute stroke, to secondary prevention measures such as blood pressure control, smoking cessation, and treatment of elevated cholesterol to reduce the incidence of recurrent stroke after hospital discharge. In addition, the program will also help improve the use of rehabilitation services for those who have experienced an acute stroke, in an effort to reduce long-term disability due to stroke.
States in the southeastern U.S. have the highest incidence and mortality of stroke; as a result, this area of the U.S. is commonly referred to as the stroke belt. In an effort to reduce long-term disability, the GCASR and the Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program (SHAPP) of the State of Georgia Cardiovascular Health Initiative Program work to reduce heart disease-and stroke-related morbidity and mortality in Georgia.
- Increase quality improvement through collaborative efforts among participant hospitals.
- Lower the stroke morbidity experienced in Georgia.
- Enhance the effectiveness of secondary care and prevent recurrent strokes.
- Develop protocols to guide physician care with effective stroke management.
- Develop effective methods to care for acute stroke patients.
Data and Publications
Stroke and Coverdell-related publications can be found here.
GCASR initially enrolled 26 hospitals in late 2005. In 2009, 50 participating entities, representing 52 hospitals participated in the registry, which provided a coverage of more than half of annual acute stroke admissions in Georgia. Based on future funding, GCASR is planning to enroll more hospitals in 2009-2010.
Benefits of the Registry
Benefits for the participating hospitals and their patients include:
- Monthly registry-wide telephone conference calls with participating hospitals and GCASR staff
- “Kickoff” workshop for new participants
- Annual regional data abstraction training workshops
- Quarterly GCASR newsletters
- Annual meetings to exchange best practices
- Quality improvement consultant to work with hospital staff on-site or by telephone
- Encouragement to hospitals to network with one another
- Great resources and mentoring for hospitals needing specific stroke related information
- Georgia Coverdell Champion Hospital of the Year Awards
- Opportunity to contribute to improve stroke care quality statewide
- Annual site visits by qualified quality improvement consultants
In addition, training in Advanced Stroke Life Support through the University of Miami’s ASLS Emergency Medical Skills Training Course is provided to hospital staff. This training teaches emergency assessment and management of acute stroke to all levels of healthcare providers, from Emergency Medical Services personnel to Hospital and Emergency Department nurses and physicians.
The Registry benefits patients directly by offering real-time feedback to hospitals that covers patient-related Quality of Care Indicators. Selected patient care information on each stroke admission is entered into an online data collection tool. Real-time analysis provides feedback to each hospital related to the quality of care that their patients are receiving. Hospitals can also compare their performance on quality indicators with other hospitals using the “Get With The Guidelines - Stroke” database. Up-to-date guidance on standards of care is provided to caregivers through the online tool as well. In addition, patient education resources, published by the American Stroke Association and by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), are available at no charge to the patient or hospital. Improvements in quality of care are tracked on a monthly basis by the GCASR and feedback is provided back to the hospitals related to their Quality Indicator performance.
The Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry is a partnership among a number of groups and organizations, all of whom have the goal of improving the quality of care of acute stroke patients in Georgia, with the ultimate hope of reducing the deaths and disability due to stroke for all citizens in Georgia. The partners include:
In addition, the Georgia Coverdell Stroke Advisory Sub-Committee, part of the Georgia Stroke Systems of Care Task Force, includes healthcare leaders who are engaged in all aspects of the care of acute stroke patients, acts in an advisory role, and helps to direct the growth of the GCASR as well as maximize its impact throughout the state. Finally, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Division of Public Health and the GCASR are active partners in the Tri State Stroke Network, a three-state partnership among Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, that is dedicated to improving stroke prevention and control by increasing public awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke, raising awareness of the need to treat stroke as a medical emergency, and addressing the geographic disparity in stroke deaths in the Tri-State area.
If you are interested in having your hospital become a Coverdell Hospital, please contact Kerrie Krompf (Emory University School of Medicine) or Dr. Laura Fehrs (Georgia DPH, DPH, Chronic Disease, and Injury Epidemiology).
Kerrie A. Krompf
Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry
Emory University School of Medicine
Laura J. Fehrs, M.D.
Principal Investigator/Project Manager
Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry
Epidemiology and Laboratory Branch
Division of Public Health
Department of Community Health
Suite 14.392, 2 Peachtree Street,
Atlanta, GA 30303-3142