South Carolina Stroke System of Care

In 2011, legislature was passed to enact the "Stroke System of Care Act of 2011" to establish a statewide system of stroke care, which requires The Department of Health and Environmental Control to recognize hospitals that are certified to be primary stroke centers and to authorize recognition of acute stroke capable centers and provide emergency medical services providers a list of primary stroke centers, stroke enabled centers through telemedicine, and other certified programs, as they come available. 

What is a Stroke System of Care?

A stroke system of care is a network of definitive care facilities that provide a spectrum of care for all stroke patients. South Carolina's Stroke System of Care is guided by the evidence-based "hub and spoke" model that simplifies widespread patient access to lifesaving care and treatment with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), the FDA-approved medication for treatment of an occlusive stroke within the first few hours. An efficient and purposeful stroke system emphasizes the need for various levels of centers to cooperate in the care of stroke patients to avoid wasting precious time. South Carolina's "hub and spoke" model includes Comprehensive Stroke Centers, Thrombectomy Capable Centers, Primary Stroke Centers, and Acute Ready Stroke Centers which can be connected by telemedicine. 

An Ideal stroke system includes all components identified with optimal stroke care such as prevention, education, access, EMS transport, acute hospital care, rehabilitation, research, and advocacy. 

Hospitals, and the patients they serve, benefit from a coordinated system that provides a standardized quality improvement. The care of stroke patients requires a systemic approach to ensure optimal care that is necessary within a facility, however, not every hospital can do everything.  Thus, a systems approach is necessary within a community, regardless of its size, to help establish a consistent approach to care and reducing variations in that care and the risk of errors. 

Why choose a hospital with a designated Stroke Center?

Stroke is a medical and/or surgical emergency. Governing bodies verification and designation requirements set strict requirements, to include standards, clinical practice guidelines, and performance measurement for staffing of resources and specialists, response times, training, performance improvement and stroke prevention activities at stroke centers.  Stroke centers have dedicated and organized stroke teams that respond promptly.  The Stroke Medical Director (A physician responsible for stroke care) and Stroke Program Director are responsible to ensure compliance with the requirements, and for carrying out all activities associated with the stroke program. Hospitals that are not designated as stroke centers may have, and be staffed by, an emergency room physician but not have organized teams led by physicians trained in interventional neurological or surgical procedures to manage ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. These facilities focus on evaluation, stabilization, and transfer to an appropriate facility for further care.

South Carolina Stroke Centers

The following is a list of stroke centers are based on the level of designation.

SC Stroke Designation Map

Comprehensive Stroke Centers

These facilities can meet concurrently emerging needs of multiple complex stroke patients. The CSC will provide support for all South Carolina hospitals as a referral source for high level neurological critical care, medical, interventional, surgical capabilities, and stroke research. 

Thrombectomy- Capable Stroke Center (TSC)

These facilities do all that Primary Stroke Centers do, plus have the tools and the expertise to perform mechanical thrombectomy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove a blood clot from an artery. These centers also have neurointensive care and 24/7 on-site critical care coverage primary Stroke Centers The only difference in this and a Comprehensive Stroke Center is that the CSC has ongoing stroke research.

Primary Stroke Centers (PSC)

Ability to care for patients with acute ischemic stroke; Rapid assessment, imaging, and able to administer intravenous thrombolytic therapy.

Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals

These facilities are equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a Primary, Thrombectomy Capable, or Comprehensive Stroke Center. 

Upstate Region

Comprehensive Stroke Centers
•    Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital (Greenville)
Primary Stroke Centers
•    AnMed Health Medical Center (Anderson)
•    Bon Secours St Francis Hospital Eastside (Greenville) 
•    Bon Secours St. Francis Downtown (Greenville) 
•    Prisma Health Baptist Easley Hospital (Easley) 
•    Prisma Health Greer Memorial Hospital (Greer) 
•    Prisma Health Hillcrest Hospital (Simpsonville) 
•    Prisma Health Laurens County Hospital (Clinton) 
•    Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital (Seneca) 
•    Self Regional Healthcare (Greenwood)  
•    SRHS Pelham Medical Center (Greer) 
•    SRHS Spartanburg Medical Center (Spartanburg) 
Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals
•    SRHS Cherokee Medical Center (Gaffney)  
•    SRHS Mary Black (Spartanburg)  
•    SRHS Union Medical Center (Union) 

Midlands Region

Comprehensive Stroke Centers
•    Prisma Health Richland Hospital (Columbia) 
Thrombectomy Capable Centers
•    Lexington Medical Center (West Columbia) 
Primary Stroke Centers
•    Aiken Regional Medical Center (Aiken)
•    MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center (Lancaster) 
•    Piedmont Medical Center (Rock Hill) 
•    Prisma Health Baptist Hospital (Columbia) 
Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals
•    MUSC Heath Chester Medical Center (Chester) 

Pee Dee Region

Comprehensive Stroke Centers
•    Grand Strand Medical Center (Myrtle Beach) 
Primary Stroke Centers
•    Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center (Hartsville) 
•    Conway Medical Center (Conway) 
•    McLeod Regional Medical Center (Florence) 
•    MUSC Health Florence Medical Center (Florence) 
•    MUSC Health Marion Medical Center (Marion) 
•    Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital (Georgetown) 
•    Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital (Murrells Inlet) 
Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals
•    McLeod Health Cheraw (Cheraw) 
•    McLeod Health Clarendon (Clarendon) 
•    McLeod Health Loris (Loris) 
•    McLeod Health Seacoast (Little River) 
•    McLeod Hospital Dillon (Dillon) 
•    Williamsburg Regional Hospital (Kingstree) 

Low Country Region

Comprehensive Stroke Centers
•    MUSC Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston) CSC
Thrombectomy Capable Centers
•    Trident Medical Center (North Charleston) 
Primary Stroke Centers
•    Beaufort Memorial Hospital (Beaufort) 
•    Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital (Charleston) 
•    Coastal Carolina Hospital (Hardeeville) 
•    East Cooper Medical Center (Mount Pleasant) 
•    Hilton Head Hospital (Hilton Head Island) 
•    Regional Medical Center (Orangeburg) 
•    Roper Hospital (Charleston) 
•    Summerville Medical Center (Trident Health Summerville) 
Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals
•    Colleton Medical Center (Walterboro) 
•    Hampton Regional Medical Center (Varnville) 
•    Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (Charleston) 
•    Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital (Summerville) 
•    Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital (Mount Pleasant)

For more information regarding the South Carolina Stroke System of Care, please contact the DHEC EMS Division at 803-545-4958.

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Stroke Statewide