UCI Health certified as Orange County's first Comprehensive Stroke Center

National designation reflects highest stroke care available

September 04, 2013

UC Irvine Medical Center has become the first hospital in Orange County to receive certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center from The Joint Commission.

Reserved for those hospitals capable of receiving and treating the most complex stroke cases, the designation confirms that UCI Health meets the highest level of stroke care certification for the treatment of patients suffering ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, and transient ischemic attacks.

“This designation reflects our entire team’s commitment to every aspect of stroke care, from emergency treatment to rehabilitation,” said Dr. Vivek Jain, director of the UCI Health Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center.

UCI Health offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for stroke patients and others with diseases affecting the blood vessels that supply the brain. The UCI Health team offers specialty care by stroke neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-interventionalists and radiologists who are specially trained to use catheters to remove stroke-causing clots. The team also includes nurses, pharmacists and therapists.

The Joint Commission now certifies two levels of stroke care: "primary" and "comprehensive." The new "comprehensive" level of certification recognized the significant resources in infrastructure, staff and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to provide state-of-the-art complex stroke care.

Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification was developed in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and derived from the Brain Attack Coalition’s “Recommendations for Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2005), and "Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers” (Stroke, 2011), as well as on recommendations from a multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in complex stroke care. 

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States.

UCI Health has long been a leader in stroke care. The center has held Primary Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission since 2004 and was among the nation’s first academic medical facilities to be designated a primary stroke center.

UCI Health also was instrumental in creating the Orange County Stroke-Neurology Receiving System in 2009. Paramedics and ambulances now deliver patients with symptoms of a stroke to one of the handful of Orange County hospitals that are best equipped to provide around-the-clock, state-of-the-art stroke care, including UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is a main cause of serious, long-term disability. There are as many as 8,000 new cases each year in Orange County.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health physicians at clinical offices throughout Orange County and at the main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The medical center is a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation.

U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 13 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center. It is the primary teaching hospital for the UCI Health School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County.

UCI Health media contact:John Murrayjdmurray@uci.edu714-456-7759