Designation shows highest level of care is available for stroke patients
By: Dan Weaver | University of Colorado Hospital
AURORA, Colo. – The Joint Commission, the national certifying body for hospitals, today named the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest level of stroke certification available for hospitals.
Just 30 hospitals across the nation and only two in Colorado are currently designated as Comprehensive Stroke Centers, and these providers offer state-of-the-art technology with dedicated and highly trained doctors and staff to treat patients with the most serious and complex strokes.
“The Comprehensive Stroke Center certification requires an experienced, multi-disciplinary team of specialists, nurses and staff who provide the latest, patient-centered care,” said William Jones, MD, co-medical director of the UCH stroke program. “Our team constantly reviews new treatments and technology and our protocols and procedures to ensure rapid delivery of the most up-to-date treatments available anywhere for acute stroke patients. Comprehensive Stroke Center certification shows our dedication is paying off and producing the very best patient outcomes.”
Other hospitals within University of Colorado Health (UCHealth), including Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs and Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, are all Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Centers.
“These certifications confirm the very peak level of care patients receive at UCH and the hospitals of UCHealth. We’ve developed important partnerships and are sharing our successes and best practices with each other to constantly improve care,” said John Harney, president and CEO of University of Colorado Hospital. “We also have helicopter transports ready to bring patients from Northern and Southern Colorado to UCH if they need services only a Comprehensive Stroke Center can provide.”
UCH, which treats over 300 stroke patients each year, offers a Neurological Intensive Care Unit dedicated specifically to patients with neurological injuries and disorders. This is the only ICU in the Rocky Mountain Region staffed 24/7 with Neurointensivists and specialty trained Neuro ICU nurses, and it was recently recognized with the gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence in patient care and outcomes.
UCH is one of the only centers in the Rocky Mountain Region that specializes in treating complex brain hemorrhages which can require surgery and ICU-level care. Physical and speech therapists are available to help patients improve after serious strokes in both an outpatient setting and in an inpatient acute rehab unit at UCH.
“It’s incredible to see these patients walk out of our hospital and return to a normal life,” said Dr. Jones. “That’s the goal of this entire, dedicated team.”
According to the American Stroke Association, about 795,000 Americans each year suffer a stroke, which means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States.
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