Stroke Center Quality & Safety

At UVA Stroke Center, delivering the highest-quality healthcare to our patients is our top priority. Achieving our goals for safety and excellence means working continuously to improve the care we provide. Our teams meet regularly to evaluate and improve our care.

Our nationally recognized safety and quality program, Be Safe, provides a disciplined, daily framework to see and solve problems as they arise in the course of patient care.

We believe you should have this information to help you make informed decisions about where to seek care.  

Sharing information about the quality of care we provide and looking at lessons learned is an important part of developing a team focus on patient safety.

Initial Treatment After Stroke

We use the following measures to improve the emergency care we provide after a patient has a stroke.

Tissue Plasminogen Activator

The majority of strokes are ischemic, meaning they happen when a blood clot, a thick clump of blood, blocks a blood vessel and stops blood from reaching the brain. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a medication that stops an ischemic stroke by breaking up the blood clot so blood can reach the brain again. The earlier a patient receives tPA, the more likely they are to survive and make a full recovery.

Before they give a patient tPA, stroke team members have to complete several steps, including a neurological assessment, checking oxygen levels, doing bloodwork and more. Pharmacists also have to prepare the medication. Stroke team members work continuously to complete these steps as quickly as possible so that they can give patients tPA as soon as possible. We track the percentage of patients who get to UVA within two hours of “last known well” (defined as the last time they were known to not have symptoms) and also receive tPA within three hours of that last known well.

uva patients arriving within two hours last known well received tPA chart

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A higher number is better.

Carotid Endarterectomy Complications 

Carotid endarterectomy is a surgery to clean the carotid artery to help prevent stroke. We measure the percentage of patients who undergo this surgery and do not have complications during or after surgery.

uva carotid endarterectomy patients without complications chart

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A higher number is better.

Care in the Hospital

We use the following measures to improve the care we provide stroke patients while they are in the hospital after emergency treatment. 

Preventing Blood Clots

Preventing blood clots is an important way to help prevent a person from having complications or another stroke. We measure the percentage of stroke patients whose care team takes steps to prevent blood clots due to lack of mobility during their hospital stay.

uva blood clot prevention measures in hospital chart

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A higher number is better.

About 80 percent of strokes happen when a blood clot or fatty deposit blocks a blood vessel and stops blood from reaching the brain. We also measure the percentage of patients who are given medications to prevent another stroke by their second day in the hospital.

uva blood clot prevention measures by second day chart

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A higher number is better.

Stroke Prevention Education

We also measure the percentage of patients whose care teams teach them about ways to recognize a stroke, prevent another stroke, manage their cerebrovascular disease and their medications.

uva stroke patients who received education about stroke prevention chart

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A higher number is better.

Assessing for Rehabilitation Services

Many stroke patients benefit from rehabilitation services to help them recover and prevent another stroke. We measure the percentage of patients whose care teams evaluate whether they would benefit from rehabilitation services.

uva patients assessed in hospital for rehabilitation

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A higher number is better.

After Discharge

We use the following measures to improve the care we provide to help patients recover and prevent another stroke after they go home from the hospital.

Patients Discharged With Blood Clot Prevention Medicine Prescription 

To help prevent a second stroke, we measure the percentage of patients whose care teams give them a prescription for medications that prevent blood clots, called antithrombotic therapy, before they leave the hospital.

uva patients discharged with blood clotting medicine chart

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A higher number is better.

Irregular Heartbeat Medications

We measure the percentage of stroke patients with irregular heartbeats, called atrial fibrillation or “a-fib,” whose care teams give them a prescription for medication to help prevent blood clots from forming in the atrial chambers of the heart, called anticoagulation therapy.

a-fib patients discharged with blood clotting medicine

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A higher number is better. 

Blood Fat Lowering Medications

We measure the percentage of patients whose care teams give them a prescription for medications that lower fat (lipids) in the blood, called statins, before they leave the hospital.

uva patients discharged with statin prescription

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 A higher number is better.