Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center: The Stroke Center

Penn's Comprehensive Stroke Center receives distinction from Joint Commission

Comprehnsive Stroke Center logo

Reducing the debilitating effects of stroke has become a reality for residents in and around the Philadelphia area. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Stroke Center was awarded certification as a comprehensive stroke center from the Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This new level of certification recognizes the significant resources in staff and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to treat complex stroke.

Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers are required to have:

  • A dedicated neurointensive care unit
  • A high volume of stroke cases
  • Advanced resources for the acute treatment of stroke patients available 24 hours-a-day
  • Advanced neurodiagnostic tools
  • Certified vascular neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists,
    and vascular surgeons
  • Advanced practice nurses
  • A system that optimizes the benefits of carotid artery procedures
  • Participation in stroke research

Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke

Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke is a program that helps ensure consistent application of the most recent American Heart Association/American Stroke Association scientific guidelines for patient treatment.

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has received a 2014 Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for its commitment to and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients.

"Gold Plus" is the highest level of recognition possible and signifies consistent adherence to those quality measures over the course of at least 24 consecutive months.

Target: Stroke Honor Roll

Get With The Guidelines Target Stroke Honor Roll Gold Plus logo

The "Target: Stroke Honor Roll"* recognizes that over the most recent three-month review period, at least 50 percent of all eligible ischemic stroke patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania received the important clot-busting drug known as intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics, someone in America has a stroke every 45 seconds. Stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. About 700,000 Americans will have a stroke this year and 168,000 of them will die. As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the Penn Stroke Center strives to improve these statistics.

Penn's Stroke Center is part of the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center, which provides complete medical and surgical care for people with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. State-of-the-art approaches to diagnosis, treatment and prevention of stroke are offered at the Center. Innovative therapies include endovascular (catheter-based) interventions such as angioplasty, stenting and intra-arterial thrombolysis. The staff includes neurologists, neurointensivists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, specially trained neuroscience nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, neuropsychologists and rehabilitation medicine physicians.

*The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize this hospital for achieving 85% or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for consecutive 12 month intervals and 75% or higher compliance with 5 of 8 Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Measures to improve quality of patient care and outcomes in addition to achieving IV rt-PA door-to-needle times ≤ 60 minutes in 50% or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients (minimum of 6) during one calendar quarter.

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