Statewide stroke response system approved

A bill that develops a statewide stroke system of care in Nebraska passed April 12.

LB722, sponsored by Sen. Roy Baker of Lincoln, requires the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to designate Nebraska hospitals as comprehensive stroke centers, primary care stroke centers or acute stroke-ready hospitals based on nationally recognized standards.

DHHS will compile and maintain a list of such hospitals on the department’s website. The department also will adopt and distribute a nationally recognized, standardized stroke triage assessment tool to each emergency medical service (EMS) licensed in the state. All EMS licensees will be required to use a triage tool and establish assessment, treatment and transport protocols.

In addition, a task force will be established by DHHS to address matters of triage, treatment and transport of stoke patients. The task force will provide advice and recommendations to the department regarding implementation of the Stroke System of Care Act.

The bill passed on a 45-2 vote and takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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