Five Malaysian hospitals acknowledged for standard of stroke patient care

Pank Jit Sin
01 Sep 2020
Second from right: Datuk Dr Rohaizat Yon, Deputy Director-General of Health Malaysia, posing with the WSO Angels Award winners at the Malaysia Stroke Virtual Conference.

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) Angels Award has been bestowed upon five local hospitals in recognition of their standard of care for stroke patients. The awards were presented by Datuk Dr Rohaizat Yon, Deputy Director-General of Health Malaysia, at the opening ceremony of the Malaysia Stroke Virtual Conference.

The WSO Angels Award belongs to the Angels Initiative, an initiative by Boehringer Ingelheim to encourage hospitals to improve their quality of stroke care through continuous training and consultations.

The initiative was first introduced in Malaysia in 2017, and since then has been actively collaborating with the Malaysian Stroke Council (MSC) to reach out to over 34 hospitals nationwide. To qualify for the WSO Angels Award, these hospitals are encouraged to submit records of how they managed their stroke cases, including the procedures and therapies administered.

The submitted details are then entered into a registry known as the Registry of Stroke Care Quality (RES-Q), which is subsequently tested against various yardsticks to see whether they qualify for Gold, Platinum or Diamond Status awards.

A Diamond Award requires a hospital to treat its stroke patients in a dedicated stroke unit or intensive care unit throughout the length of their hospital stay. They would also have to be able to treat at least 50 percent of patients with recanalization therapy within 45 minutes upon arrival at the hospital and 75 percent within 60 minutes.

As of 2019, a total of 12 Malaysian hospitals have been enrolled into the RES-Q. Among the 12, five achieved the Gold and Diamond Status awards since the third quarter of 2019. Among the five hospital, Pantai Hospital Penang is the first hospital in Malaysia to receive the Diamond Award. Consultant neurologist Dr Wong Yee Choon, speaking on behalf of Pantai Hospital Penang, said: “We are very proud to receive the Diamond Award from WSO for two consecutive quarters. Stroke care is a serious practice for our hospital as we understand that every second counts with stroke. Since joining the Angels Initiative, we have received a lot of support from the consultants from Angels and MSC which has also pushed us to invest the time in training our medical staff and acquiring the necessary tools to provide medical treatment to stroke patients. This is something we will definitely continue doing to ensure that our fellow Penangites have a better chance of recovery from stroke.”

Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) emerged as another hospital to receive successive awards—the Gold in the fourth quarter of 2019 and Diamond in the first quarter of 2020.  Dr Law Wan Chung, consultant neurosurgeon at SGH, said: “When we heard that we qualified for the Gold Award in Q4 2019, it was a huge motivating factor for us to do even better to achieve the Diamond Award. Our team put in a lot of effort to improve our accuracy and efficiency when treating our patients here in Sarawak, and I am glad to see that our hard work has paid off. We are determined to continue improving our practice to serve our community well as a reliable stroke-ready hospital and also continue our winning streak.”

Early care is important in stroke
Stroke patients require immediate medical attention and proper treatment to arrive at the best outcomes. Unfortunately, not all hospitals are equipped with the necessary facilities or expertise for proper stroke care, hence MSC and Angels Initiative continued engagement with more hospitals across Malaysia to improve their stroke care.

Associate Professor Dr Hoo Fan Kee, president of MSC, noted that stroke is a common condition in Malaysia. As the disease is incredibly time sensitive, more should be done to empower more doctors and medical staff so they can deliver the best quality stroke care to patients. He noted that the WSO Angels Award is one way to recognize hospitals that go the extra mile in their care of stroke patients.

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