KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 —The World Stroke Organisation (WSO) has recognised five Malaysian hospitals for achieving international standards in their stroke care practices.

The WSO Angels Award is part of the Angels Initiative, launched by German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, which engages hospitals to improve the quality of stroke care through continuous training and consultations.

First introduced in Malaysia in 2017, the Angels Initiative actively collaborates with the Malaysian Stroke Council (MSC) to engage with over 34 hospitals nationwide.

As part of the ongoing engagement, hospitals are encouraged to submit records of their stroke cases including the procedures and therapies administered to qualify for the WSO Angels Award.

The data is recorded in the Registry of Stroke Care Quality (RES-Q), which is then evaluated against various measures to determine if they qualify for the Gold Status, Platinum Status, or Diamond Status awards.

The WSO Angels Award will then be given to hospitals that demonstrate global standards in their stroke care practices, based on the timeliness and quality of the treatment.

A total of 12 hospitals in Malaysia have been enrolled in the RES-Q since 2019, out of which five hospitals have successfully obtained the Gold and Diamond awards since Quarter 3 of 2019.

The hospitals that received the awards are Hospital Tuanku Jaafar in Seremban (Gold), Hospital Seberang Jaya (Gold), Sarawak General Hospital (Gold and Diamond), Regency Specialist Hospital (Gold) and Pantai Hospital Penang (Diamond).

To qualify for the Diamond Award, hospitals must treat stroke patients in a dedicated stroke unit or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) throughout their hospital stay.

The hospitals would also have to be able to treat at least 50 per cent of patients with recanalisation therapy within 45 minutes upon arrival at the hospital and 75 per cent within 60 minutes.

Pantai Hospital Penang became the first hospital in Malaysia to receive the Diamond Award and to achieve it for two consecutive quarters.

Meanwhile, Sarawak General Hospital also successfully received awards for two consecutive quarters – the Gold in Q4 2019 and Diamond in Q1 2020.

MCS president associate Professor Dr Hoo Fan Kee said it is important for the council to continue empowering more doctors and medical staff to deliver the best quality of stroke care, with the right assessment and treatment.

“After over a year with Angels Initiative, we are delighted to find that many hospitals are seeing positive results in the recovery rates of their stroke patients.

“The WSO Angels Award is just the icing on the cake, for us to recognise the hospitals that go above and beyond in their stroke care,” he added.

The awards were presented by Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr Rohaizat Yon at the opening ceremony of the Malaysia Stroke Virtual Conference at Everly Hotel in Putrajaya recently.

Organised by the MSC, the conference was participated by doctors and healthcare professionals in person, while 3,000 more healthcare professionals also attended the conference virtually from other parts of the country and the region as well.

The conference addressed key topics related to stroke care in Malaysia, including setting up a stroke-ready hospital and different treatment options for stroke patients.