MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama officials have launched a system to route patients experiencing stoke symptoms to the nearest hospital ready to care for them.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said in a statement that a Statewide Stroke System will be active beginning Monday.

More than 60 hospitals in Alabama and five in bordering states have applied to participate and complete the inspection requirements to be designated as a stroke hospital in the system.

The pilot system was activated Aug. 26, 2013, in the Birmingham area and Alabama's southeast regions. The system has since been rolled out to cover every area, with the exception of 14 counties that are currently ramping up.

Acting State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says the system greatly enhances the opportunity to improve stroke care.