Swedish Medical Center is the first Comprehensive Stroke Center in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region, as named by the Joint Commission, the prestigious national medical accreditation organization. This certification recognizes the advanced technology, staff and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to provide state-of-the-art complex stroke care.The certification underscores the hospital's long-standing commitment to health and wellness for citizens across the state, and throughout the region.

Helping to Lead the Nation

Swedish is the 14th hospital in the country to achieve this certification, which recognizes our advanced integrative stroke team and outstanding patient outcomes. 

Simply stated, Swedish treats more strokes faster than anyone in the region.

The quality metrics at Swedish Medical Center have exceeded national benchmarks and consistently outperformed other area stroke programs.

By the Numbers

Our program offers some very impressive statistics: Incoming stroke patients have a neurologist at their bedside in an average 4.8 minutes, compared to the national target of 20 minutes. Patients receive vital CT imaging within 14.6 minutes on average compared to the national goal of 25 minutes, and medically appropriate patients will receive IV t-PA within 40.8 minutes against the national goal of 60 minutes. The national average of ischemic stroke patients treated with IV t-PA is 5%, while Swedish treats 26%.

Telemedicine Program Pioneer

Swedish was a pioneer in developing and providing comprehensive care through our stroke telemedicine program. This innovation in healthcare has allowed us to provide exceptional care for the stroke patients in our community as well as throughout the 31 stroke telemedicine partner hospitals across the Rocky Mountain Region. Our certification is a result of the dedication and hard work of many who collaborate to offer this award-winning care.

About the Certification

The Joint Commission developed the criteria for designating Disease-Specific Care Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers in collaboration with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. The requirements are rigorous and require additional technology, resources and expertise in comparison to other Primary Stroke Centers. This ranks Swedish Medical Center among the most well-known academic institutions across the country, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA; Stanford Hospital, Stanford, CA; Ronald Reagan UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; and University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC.

The Comprehensive Stroke Center certification specifically looks at advanced endovascular procedures and technologies, the presence of a dedicated neuro-critical care unit and highly skilled staff, as well as proven patient outcomes that surpass national standards.

Comprehensive certification also requires that hospitals have the latest high-tech surgical equipment for complex aneurysm clipping and endovascular coiling techniques to find and remove clots. In fact, hospitals receiving the certification must perform at least 15 endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures per year. Centers must also hold dedicated neuro-intensive care unit beds and maintain specific procedures for communicating with paramedic EMS teams. They must be capable of evaluating two or more stroke patients simultaneously and perform specific follow-up tasks after discharge. They also have a requirement to enroll patients in clinical trial stroke research, use a stroke registry, and have certain peer review processes. Swedish Medical Center enjoys a long standing partnership with the Colorado Neurological Institute to provide community education, patient navigation and research.

In addition to achieving the certification, Swedish Medical Center received the following accolades from the Joint Commission surveyors:

  • Commitment to regional telemedicine site partners was a notable 'best practice'
  • Dedicated leadership of the Stroke Program
  • Solid clinical foundations for care
  • Program integration with AirLife, specialty trained air transport team for stroke patients
  • The stroke peer review process at Swedish Medical Center was the 'best they have ever seen'
  • Stroke data collection methods were noted as a ‘best practice’