The UCLA Stroke Center has been named to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's "Target: Stroke" honor roll for its commitment to and success in improving care for stroke patients.
The award recognizes that over the most recent three-month review period, at least 50 percent of all eligible ischemic stroke patients at UCLA received the important clot-busting drug known as intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital. The drug is the only approved acute-stroke treatment for clot-related, or ischemic, stroke and has been shown to reduce stroke-related disability.
"Less than 1 percent of all acute care hospitals in the United States have received the distinction of being on the "Target: Stroke" honor roll," said Dr. Jeffrey Saver, the UCLA Stroke Center's director and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "This achievement reflects the collective efforts of the entire UCLA Emergency Department and Stroke Center and their sustained commitment to rescue acute stroke patients from a lifetime of disability."
The new award complements the Get With the Guidelines–Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Gold Plus Achievement Award given to the UCLA Stroke Center by the AHA/ASA in October 2010 in recognition of the center's implementation of excellent care for stroke patients, based on evidence-based guidelines.
To receive the Gold Plus award, the Stroke Center achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all GWTG–Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and demonstrated 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 GWTG–Stroke quality measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure the quality of care.
"Since time lost is brain lost in acute ischemic stroke, it is important to start therapy to restore blood flow as soon as it is safe to do so," said Dr. Sidney Starkman, professor of emergency medicine and neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the UCLA Brain Attack Team. "The UCLA Stroke Center has refined our emergent response to stroke patients to be as efficient as possible."
According to the AHA/ASA, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every three minutes and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
Get With the Guidelines is an AHA/ASA hospital-based quality-improvement program that empowers health care teams to save lives and reduce health care costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.
The UCLA Stroke Center, recognized as one of the world's leading centers for the management of cerebral vascular disease, treats simple and complex vascular disorders by incorporating recent developments in emergency medicine, stroke neurology, microneurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, stereotactic radiology, neurointensive care, neuroanesthesiology and rehabilitation neurology. The program is unique in its ability to integrate clinical and research activities across multiple disciplines and departments. Founded in 1994, the UCLA Stroke Center is designated as a certified Primary Stroke Center by the national Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.