Iowa Healthcare Collaborative

Cardiovascular and Stroke


Evidence-based treatment offers opportunities for improved patient outcomes.  The IHC Cardiovascular Initiative focuses on improving the quality and safety of care provided for patients with cardiovascular disease.  It also works to align inpatient and outpatient strategies to enhance detection, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular conditions.

This initiative supports the Iowa Comprehensive Cardiovascular and Stroke Plan 2010-2014, and builds on the work of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 100,00 Lives Campaign and the 5 Million Lives Campaign.

Current topics within the Cardiovascular Initiative are:

  • Heart Failure

  • Acute Myocardial Infarction

  • Stroke

  • Aortic Dissection


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 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.

As of May 2013, the designations are: (1) Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSC) (2) Primary Stroke Center (PSC) (3) Stroke Capable (AKA Acute Stroke Ready or "drip and ship" or (3) Triage and Transport only (no acute stroke treatment). 

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 Kady Reese at the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative.

Iowa Hospital Stroke Level Designation, available on the Coverdell Stroke Page.

Click Here to visit the Coverdell Stroke page.



Iowa Comprehensive Cardiovascular and Stroke Plan 2010-2014 (PDF)
       •  A statewide plan that provides a framework to reduce risk factors related to heart disease and
                stroke and to increase quality and years of healthy life for Iowans. 

IHI Improvement Map (PDF)
       •  A resource tool to identify key processes for improving hospital quality and organizing improvement efforts. 

Iowa Heart Disease and Stroke Burden Report 2009 (PDF)
       •  A report documenting the burden of heart disease and stroke in Iowa.

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