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UCI Health receives national quality achievement award for stroke care

Medical center named to association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll

November 12, 2014

UCI Health has received the Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for excellence in stroke care. This designation signifies that UCI Health has achieved the goal of delivering prompt, appropriate stroke treatment that saves lives and reduces the likelihood of recurrence.

Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke provides hospitals with the most up-to-date, research-based measures to help speed recovery and improve the lives of stroke patients, including aggressive use of medication and risk-reduction therapies.  UCI Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

“This recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association confirms that our patients receive the best stroke care possible,” said neurologist Steven C. Cramer, MD, interim director of the UCI Health Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center. “We are dedicated to providing the full spectrum of care to ensure our patients regain their quality of life and independence after stroke.”

UC Irvine Medical Center was named to the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, in recognition of meeting quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment. The Target: Stroke Honor Roll confirms that at least 50 percent of all eligible ischemic stroke patients at UC Irvine Medical Center received the clot-busting drug tPA within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital. The drug is the only FDA-approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke, and has been shown to reduce stroke-related disability.

Additionally, UC Irvine Medical Center was the first Orange County hospital designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. Reserved for those hospitals capable of receiving and treating the most complex stroke cases, the designation confirms that the hospital meets the highest level of stroke care certification for the treatment of patients suffering ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, and transient ischemic attacks.

UC Irvine Medical Center plays a key role in the care of stroke patients in Orange County as a stroke-neurology receiving center. Paramedics and ambulances will now take patients in the early hours of a stroke to one of several receiving centers that offer high-level neurovascular care and have specialists available 24/7. UC Irvine’s Cramer was instrumental in developing that system.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About Get With The Guidelines: Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 4 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality or heart.org/myhealthcare.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., 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 14 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, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine 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. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. Located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities, it’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy.