UC Irvine Medical Center’s heart failure program and Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center have again earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission, healthcare’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body.

Joint Commission certification recognizes an organization’s diligence in meeting rigorous performance standards accepted nationwide as benchmarks of superior patient care.

“The Joint Commission’s renewal of our heart failure and stroke programs certification reflects the commitment our doctors and staff make each day to provide the Orange County community with the best care possible,” said Terry A. Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center.

To achieve the Gold Seal of Approval, an organization must undergo a voluntary on-site survey by a Joint Commission team at least every two years and satisfy performance requirements in such key areas as patients’ rights, patient treatment and infection control.

In April, Joint Commission staff reviewed UC Irvine’s heart failure program and Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center and interviewed personnel to gauge their adherence to the best clinical practices, quantify their use of data to improve performance and learn how they maintain a consistently high level of care.

The UC Irvine heart failure program’s certification for disease-specific care in 2008 was the first awarded by The Joint Commission to a Southern California hospital or medical center. The Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center has held advanced certification from The Joint Commission since 2004 and was among the nation’s first academic medical facilities to be designated a primary stroke center.

Led by Dr. Vivek Jain, the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment – including specialty care by stroke neurologists, neurointerventionalists and neurosurgeons – for stroke patients and others with diseases affecting the blood vessels that supply the brain. For more information, visit www.healthcare.uci.edu/stroke/index.asp.

The heart failure program, directed by Dr. Dawn Lombardo, provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care – utilizing the most current medicines, devices, surgical therapies and technology – and fosters new approaches to heart failure through a large, active research effort. For more information, visit www.healthcare.uci.edu/cs_heart_failure.asp.

About UC Irvine Medical Center: Orange County’s only university hospital, UC Irvine Medical Center offers acute- and general-care services at its new, 482,000-square-foot UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and is home to the county’s only Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. U.S. News & World Report has included UC Irvine for 11 consecutive years on its list of America’s Best Hospitals, giving special recognition to its urology, gynecology, kidney disorders and cancer programs.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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