The UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview Medical Center is dedicated to the highest quality comprehensive care of stroke patients from diagnosis to rehabilitation. It is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
Our providers have dedicated their careers to the care of stroke patients, stroke education and stroke discovery, including ongoing investigations of new medications, new minimally invasive procedures and new surgeries.
As the 1st Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Washington State, we are proud to be recognized for consistently providing the highest standards of stroke care. The Joint Commission awards “comprehensive” status only to those centers that have demonstrated the ability to:
- Provide advanced stroke care and therapies around the clock for all stroke patients including those with the most complex stroke conditions
- Participate in a rigorous on-site review with a thorough examination of the program with the Joint Commission
- Consistently meet or exceed quality patient care outcome standards
- Maintain the significant differences in resources, staff and training that are necessary for the treatment of complex stroke cases.
- Maintain a robust stroke care quality & safety review program.
Harborview is recognized with the American Stroke Association’s, “Get with the Guidelines” Awards. These include the Gold Plus Stroke Award and achieving Honor Role status for the Target Stroke program. To earn these performance awards, Harborview has met, and frequently exceeded, the following standards of care:
- The "Gold Plus Quality Award" is an advanced level of designation recognizing this high level of performance for 24 consecutive months or more.
- Demonstration of at least 85% compliance in each of the seven Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Achievement Measures. Harborview has met and frequently exceeded the goal performance for these seven measures which include the percent of:
- Acute ischemic stroke patients who arrive at the hospital within 120 minutes (2 hours) of time last known well and for whom IV t-PA was initiated at this hospital within 180 minutes (3 hours) of time last known well.
- Patients with ischemic stroke or TIA who receive antithrombotic therapy by the end of hospital day two.
- Patients with ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, or stroke not otherwise specified who receive VTE prophylaxis the day of or the day after hospital admission.
- Patients with an ischemic stroke or TIA prescribed antithrombotic therapy at discharge.
- Patients with an ischemic stroke or TIA with atrial fibrillation/flutter discharged on anticoagulation therapy.
- Patients with ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, or TIA with a history of smoking cigarettes, who are, or whose caregivers are, given smoking cessation advice or counseling during hospital stay.
- Ischemic stroke or TIA patients with LDL ≥ 100, or LDL not measured, or on cholesterol-reducer prior to admission who are discharged on statin medication.
There are inherent risks of known complications for interventional stroke procedures. Some of these have target rates set by The Joint Commission. In 2014, the UW Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center at Harborview had low complication rates.
- Carotid Endarterectomy and Carotid Artery stenting procedures: 0% complication rate for 30 day complications of stroke or death (national target rates are < 3% for asymptomatic carotid disease and < 6% for symptomatic disease)
- Diagnostic Cerebral Angiography: 0.2% complication rate for 24 hour complications of stroke or death (national target <= 1%)
- Cerebral Aneurysm clipping or coiling procedures: 0% complication rate for deaths
Stroke Risk and Symptoms
Although few people realize it, everyone is at some risk for stroke. The good news is that many strokes can be prevented when people learn about risk factors and take steps to reduce or eliminate them. The stroke center provides prevention services for patients at every stage, from those who simply want to know their risk, to stroke victims who require treatment to avoid future attacks and those needing rehabilitation following a stroke.
If a stroke does occur, recognizing the warning signs and seeking medical help immediately greatly improve the chances of surviving with minimal impairment.
The five most common symptoms of a stroke are:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of face, arm or leg, especially if all on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone you know may be having a stroke, call 911, immediately.
With advances in care, many stroke victims are able to resume some or all of their activities much earlier than in the past and reduce their risk of further attacks.
The UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview’s accolades include:
- Certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission
- Caring for about 800 stroke patients annually, including many of the most severely affected stroke victims in the region
- Stroke specialists with international reputations for medical discovery, including funding by the National Institutes of Health for stroke-related projects
- Six board-certified vascular neurologists
- The only Washington center with comprehensive training programs for future stroke specialists
For more information, please contact the Stroke Center at 206.744.3975.