Stroke care at KHSC is world-class

News / Stroke and Neurological Care

Accreditation Canada acknowledges positive patient outcomes and awards KHSC with Stroke Distinction Award

Earlier this month, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) was awarded its fourth Stroke Distinction Award for acute stroke care, and has once again been recognized for its clinical excellence and outstanding commitment to leadership in stroke care.

After the onsite survey conducted by two external peer surveyors in December 2022, one of the surveyors commented, “Providers at KHSC have worked hard to meet the Stroke Distinction standards, which reflects in the positive patient outcomes. You have an excellent stroke program and patients are benefiting from this. You should be very proud.”

Once again, all patient care areas delivering stroke care, including the Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging Services including Interventional Radiology, Davies 4 and Kidd 2 Intensive Care Units, Acute Stroke and Neurosciences Units on Kidd 7, and Stroke Prevention Clinic were assessed against current standards during the onsite survey.  Relationships with our many community partners in stroke care were also assessed.

Not only did KHSC, the regional stroke centre for southeastern Ontario, achieve all requirements, it met 100 per cent of all 102 standards criteria for the first time. KHSC’s previous survey in 2018 resulted in 95 per cent of all criteria being met. The threshold for Stroke Distinction is meeting 75 per cent or more.

“Thanks to everyone for their dedication, ingenuity and hard work in making the stroke program such a success,” says Dr. Al Jin, stroke neurologist and medical director of the Regional Stroke Centre at KHSC. “Our community is fortunate to have a world-class program with such outstanding people throughout the entire continuum of care. Everyone shows responsibility to the people with whom they work and that lets us strive to be better and to meet the challenges of the day.


We are a great team!”

Successes highlighted in the final Stroke Distinction report were many and include:

  • Patients who were interviewed were appreciative of the caring and respectful approach of all the stoke team members. They recognized the expertise of the members and their efficiency in delivering stroke care and treatments in a timely manner.
  • The interprofessional team engages patients and families in planning their care and discharge. The team monitors patient progress and rehab readiness and, in consultation with patients and families, supports them in their transition home with supports, to inpatient rehabilitation, to their home hospital stroke units or other longer-term care facilities based on their needs.
  • There is strong leadership support across KHSC to bring together all the elements of comprehensive stroke care, research, knowledge translation and education. The interprofessional team is dedicated and knowledgeable. Its use of data (to compare performance against provincial benchmarks) is helping to advance stroke care to bring positive outcomes for stroke patients.
  • KHSC demonstrates stroke partnership with its internal and external partners such as paramedic services, Providence Care Hospital, regional partners, centres and clinics. With internal and external partners, KHSC advocates for system and practice changes to continuously improve access to quality stroke prevention and care for people throughout the southeast region. The fast-track stroke rehab referral process was the successful project reviewed by the surveyors.
  • The team participates in national and international research. KHSC’s participation in a clinical trial to test new clot-busting drug administration protocols lead it to be the first site in Ontario to adopt the drug Tenecteplase as a new stroke care standard of practice for breaking up blood clots and preventing new clots from forming.

“Our stroke program is a point of pride at KHSC, and something I love to talk about,” says Dr. David Pichora, KHSC’s president and CEO. “I agree with all the accolades that have been expressed, and would just add, that if you look carefully at our KHSC vision, mission and values – this program is an exemplar!”

In 2012, KHSC’s Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site was the first acute stroke centre in Ontario to receive Accreditation Canada’s National Stroke Distinction Award for acute care standards. The KGH site received the award again in 2014. Then again in 2018, after the Accreditation Canada Stroke Distinction program changed to a four-year cycle.

Looking forward to accreditation in 2026, the KHSC stroke care team has many successes upon which to build and has already identified key areas for improvement, including continued work to address human resource pressures and the growing pressures on our neurosciences capacity at KHSC.