Information on this page is directed towards healthcare providers and contains relevant background information as well as detailed information on measure definitions and patient exclusions which will likely be of interest to healthcare providers.

Development & Oversight of the PSS Program

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health promulgated hospital licensure regulations for Primary Stroke Services (PSS) in 2004. Regulations were modeled on the Brain Attack Coalition Consensus Statement, JAMA, 2000; 283: 3102-3109. While the Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification at the MA Department of Public Health is responsible for oversight of the PSS program, a Hospital Stroke Care Advisory Committee was formed to provide guidance on the development of the program including the release of data for public consumption. The Committee is comprised of a diverse group of clinical and quality improvement experts appointed by statewide professional organizations relevant to the delivery of acute stroke care in Massachusetts.

Organizations represented include:

  • American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
  • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
  • EMS Regional Councils
  • Massachusetts Association for Healthcare Quality
  • Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians
  • Massachusetts Emergency Nurses Association
  • Massachusetts Hospital Association
  • Massachusetts Neurologic Association
  • Massachusetts Speech Language Hearing Association
  • Society of Hospital Medicine

Background on Data

  • The statewide information in the graphs on the data page comes from data entered into the PSS registry (which is operated by Outcome Sciences, Inc., Cambridge, MA) between January 2006 and December 2007 and January 2007 to December 2008.
  • Data were collected for all patients presenting to Emergency Departments at MA PSS hospitals with symptoms of acute stroke who arrived within three hours of the time they were last known to be well and were discharged with a diagnosis of ischemic stroke.
  • The comparative national statistics come from Get With The GuidelinesSM-Stroke (GWTG-S) data.
  • GWTG-S is the American Heart Association's collaborative performance improvement program, demonstrated to improve adherence to evidence-based care of patients hospitalized with stroke. The GWTG-S registry (which is operated by Outcome Sciences, Inc., Cambridge, MA) includes acute stroke and TIA cases from over 1,400 hospitals located in all 50 states, including districts and territories (DC & PR). Data from this registry provide us with the best estimates for national statistics at this time, comparable to Massachusetts data.

For further information regarding data, eligibility and measure calculations, please contact:

Philip Mello
Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification
99 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-753-8182
Fax: 617-753-8094