Abstract WP252: Reduction in Stroke Readmission Rates After Implementing an Emergency Department-based Transient Ischemic Attack Observation Unit
Background and Purpose—Diagnosis and treatment of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) is often delayed by lack of access to immediate comprehensive evaluation of the underlying etiology. Early initiation of treatment can reduce the risk of early recurrent stroke by up to 80%. Up to 40% of people who have experienced a TIA will go on to have a stroke. The purpose of this review was to determine the efficacy of an Emergency Department (ED)-based TIA observation unit using a standardized TIA protocol designed to provide rapid evaluation and treatment of patients presenting with TIA in reducing the rates of readmission with stroke to a community-based hospital.
Methods—We did a retrospective chart review of all patients discharged from Bellin Hospital with a diagnosis of stroke before implementing a standardized TIA protocol in our ED-based TIA observation unit (July to December 2010) and after implementation of the TIA observation unit (November 2011 to April 2012). We identified the patients in these cohorts who had previously been evaluated in the ED with signs or symptoms of stroke in the 6 months prior to admission and compared their stroke readmission rates. Patients who received evaluation through the TIA observation unit from November 2011 to April 2012 were monitored for readmission for stroke in the 6 months after evaluation.
Results—Prior to use of the TIA observation unit, 7 of 51 (13.7%) patients discharged with a diagnosis of stroke had been seen in the ED in the previous 6 months with stroke-like symptoms. After implementation of the TIA observation unit, 7 of 119 (5.9%) patients discharged with a diagnosis of stroke had been seen in the ED, a 57.1% reduction in stroke readmission at 6 months. Of these, 4 (57.1%) had not completed the work-up during their previous ED visit. 122 patients underwent evaluation using the TIA observation unit. Of these, only 3 (2.5%) patients were readmitted for stroke in the next 6 months. 16 of these 122 (13.1%) patients were diagnosed with stroke during their TIA work-up.
Conclusions—Rapid evaluation and treatment of TIA through an ED-based TIA observation unit substantially reduces the risk of readmission for stroke.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.