The Joint Commission

Pre-eminent healthcare accreditation

The Joint Commission is an independent nonprofit organization that since 1951 has served as the healthcare industry’s pre-eminent accrediting body. Its focus is to improve healthcare for the public by evaluating the quality and safety of the care provided by healthcare organizations.

The Joint Commission’s certification process is rigorous and thorough. Certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality in healthcare and a commitment to meeting high performance standards.

Below are the Joint Commission certifications for UW Medicine hospitals and programs:

Harborview Medical Center

UW Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center at Harborview

The UW Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center at Harborview is home to the 1st Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Washington State.    
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 by 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 and safety review program
  • Actively participate in stroke research
Badge from the American Heart Association declaring a Gold Plus award to the stroke program
Performance/quality reporting

Harborview is recognized with the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke GOLD PLUS with Honor Roll Elite and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. 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 achieved by demonstrating 85% compliance in each of the Get With The Guidelines© Stroke Achievement Measures for 24 consecutive months. Harborview has met and frequently exceeded the goal performance for these seven measures.

  • Target Stroke Honor Role Elite Plus recognizes Harborview’s ability to administer stroke intervention with thrombolytic therapy within 45 minutes in 50% of patients and 60 minutes in 75% of patients and we continuously strive to improve these times offering the best care to our patients.

  • Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll nationally recognizes Harborview’s demonstration of at least 90% compliance in “Overall Diabetes Cardiavascular Initiative Composite Score” for 12 consecutive months.

  • There are inherent risks of known complications for interventional stroke procedures. Some of these have target rates set by The Joint Commission.

In 2020, 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 for  asymptomatic  carotid disease (national target rates are <3%) and a rate of 0% complication rate for  symptomatic  carotid disease (national target rates are <6%) 

  • 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 

UW Medical Center - Northwest

Primary Stroke Center: Gold Seal Certification

Valley Medical Center

Primary Stroke Center: Gold Seal Certification