The success of acute stroke treatment is first and foremost time-dependent, and the need for improvement in acute stroke management is demonstrated by the fact that only a minority of patients gain access to treatment - in particular, intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) - within the necessary time window. Standards of acute stroke care vary widely both regionally and nationally; consequently, various healthcare organizations have undertaken initiatives to measure and improve quality of care. To date, most quality measures have been process-based, focusing primarily on metrics of patient care in the acute hospital-based setting (e.g., time to recombinant tPA administration). Therefore, there remains a need for metrics designed to assess how improvements in process translate into patient outcomes. A global forum was convened to share best practice and provide consensus recommendations on core metrics for measuring improvements in access to care and patient outcomes. Recommendations for core metrics of patient outcomes include hospital-based outcomes (e.g., neurological status at 24 h, ambulatory status at discharge) and post-discharge outcomes (e.g., modified Rankin Scale score at 30 and/or 90 days). Recommendations for best practice relating to aspects of people, process, and technology involved in the stroke treatment pathway that may help provide improvements in these core outcome measures are also outlined.