Coverdell Stroke Project


Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry logo


The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative has partnered with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the University of Iowa College of Public Health to improve stroke triage, treatment and outcomes in the state of Iowa.  With funding provided by the Iowa Coverdell Acute Stroke Grant through the CDC Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry, this partnership will focus on: increasing quality of care in hospitals and care provided by EMS, adhering to best practice guidelines, and improving communication in the health care setting between providers, family and patients.  The emphasis will be on transitions of care from EMS response to hospital discharge.

The Iowa Coverdell Stroke Registry will collect stroke data from participating health care systems.  The data will be analyzed and used to improve current stroke treatment practices. The ultimate goal of the registry is to use the data collected to improve stroke protocols in Iowa. 

Iowa Hospital Acute Stroke Level of Care Designation

In 2010, the Iowa Legislature requested that a stroke plan for timely triage and treatment be developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health.  This will include new triage and transport protocols to be used by the Iowa Department of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that was implemented January 1, 2012.  While the needs of each acute stroke patient are determined on a case-by-case basis, this new protocol will provide a guide for the hospital’s emergency department medical director and local EMS providers.  The aim of this initiative is to provide rapid evaluation and transport of acute stroke patients to the nearest Certified Primary Stroke Center.  If a Primary Stroke Center is not within a ½ hour transportation time, the patient should be taken to the nearest Stroke Capable hospital.  These designations are based upon established criteria of the American Stroke Association and Brain Attack Coalition. The designations are: (1) Primary Stroke Center (2) Stroke Capable or (3) Triage and Transport only (no acute stroke treatment).

-Iowa Hospital Stroke Level Designation - Updated 6/19/2014
-Explanation of Stroke Level Designation

The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative has been charged to compile information about all Iowa hospitals’ capability for treatment of an acute stroke. This information is voluntary and will be shared with the Iowa Bureau of EMS and used to create triage protocols for stroke.  It will be updated on an annual basis.   Any questions about this process or the selection criteria can be addressed to Meg Nugent at the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative.

Quality Improvement

Coverdell Work Plan
This work plan for 2013-2014, provides detailed timeline information for project objectives.

Iowa Stroke Registry
This link will direct you to the login screen for the Iowa Stroke Registry website. 

Learning Community Resources

Assessment and Treatment of the Stroke Patient
Presentation slides by Brian Helland and Terri Hamm from the February 2014 Learning Community.  This presentation focuses on clinical guidelines and routing criteria for EMS in Iowa.

Emergency Treatment of Patients with Stroke: Coverdell Stroke Registry Iowa
Presentation by Harold P. Adams Jr, M.D. This presentation discusses stroke in Iowa and improving EMS stroke management.

Got Data! Now What?
Presentation by Angela Overton MSN, RN, CNRN. This presentation focuses on data analysis to help with performance improvement.

Lean 101: Coverdell Learning Community
Presentation by Dean Bliss. This presentation describes LEAN tools and the seven forms of waste.

Lean 102: Coverdell Learning Community
Presentation by Dean Bliss. This presentation further reviews and describes the LEAN tools mentioned in the LEAN 101 presentation.

Looking at Stroke Mortality, Hospitalization and Service Delivery Through Maps
Presentation from the Iowa Department of Public Health by Terry Meek and Timothy Wickam.  This presentation provides an overview of GIS mapping and stroke rates in the state of Iowa.

Quality - The Basics 
Presentation slides by Sarah Pavelka from the February 2014 Learning Community.  This presentation focuses on concepts involved with quality management including LEAN and PDSA.

Quality Improvement Tools Templates
This document contains quality tools for improvement discussed in the February 2014 Learning Community presentation by Sarah Pavelka, "Quality - The Basics."

Statewide Stroke Registry Data - What does it mean?
Presentation by James C. Torner, PhD.  This presentation looks at current stroke data registries and clinical performance in Iowa.

TeamSTEPPS: Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety
This presentation focuses on TeamSTEPPS communication to improve patient safety.

Time Use Data to Improve Stroke Care
This presentation by Terri Hamm, RN presents information about how and why to use data to improve stroke care.


Coverdell Stroke Improvement Project 
Gerd Clabaugh, Deputy Director, Iowa Department of Public Health - Recorded in 2013 

For the two following recordings: To listen to these webcasts (if you have not used Go-to-Meeting or Go-to-Webinar before) click this link and follow the supporting steps.

  1. Coverdell National Acute Stroke Project - Building your Stroke Action Team Part 2 (Recorded 11/12/13)
  2. Coverdell National Acute Stroke Project - Coaching Session - Developing a Stroke System of Care (Recorded 12/3/13)      


*Due to file size, previous recordings may not be listed on the site. Please email for more information.



AHA/ASA Policy Statement
This policy statement is titled: "Forecasting the future of stroke in the United States: A policy statement from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association (Ovbiagele et al., 2013)." 
Pre-hospital Resources
-Iowa Department of Public Health
-Iowa Bureau EMS Facebook
-EMS Stroke Alert Run Sheet

National Resources
-American Stroke Association
-CDC State Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Programs
-Minnesota Stroke Registry
-North Carolina Stroke Care Collaborative
-Score Stroke Collaborative - Massachusetts

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Created: May 14, 2013
Updated: May 2, 2014