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Most People Don't Know Which Hospitals Are Stroke-Certified

American Stroke Association survey finds this true although most think this knowledge is important

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite believing that it is important to know where to get specialty stroke care, most Americans do not know which hospitals in their area are considered stroke-certified, according to the results of a survey released by the American Stroke Association on May 3.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association developed a survey to measure consumer awareness of and experience with hospitals that specialize in stroke care. The survey was conducted by a national marketing research company among a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults.

The survey found that 58 percent of respondents did not know whether there were hospitals in their area specializing in stroke care, although 72 percent believed that such knowledge was important. Insurance coverage, doctor referral, proximity to home, and hospital reputation were the most important factors respondents considered when choosing a hospital, although these factors varied by region and age group. In addition, 22 percent of respondents said they or someone in their family had experienced a stroke or been taken to the hospital for stroke-like symptoms.

"Even though we have conducted major pushes through our Get With The Guidelines program and by working with The Joint Commission to increase the number of certified hospitals in this country, the public seems less aware of stroke-certified hospitals," Ralph Sacco, M.D., president-elect of the American Heart Association, said in a statement. "The survey results show the need for continuous reinforcement of public education to maintain awareness of the stroke warning signs and symptoms as well as the importance of stroke specialty hospitals. This issue must be at the top of everyone's minds."

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