Abstract 21: Are Stroke Outcomes Influenced by New Starting Residents? The July Effect: Myth or Reality?
Background: Acute stroke care provided by comprehensive stroke centers usually follows prespecified protocols. However, there are concerns about lower quality of care and poorer stroke outcomes early after new trainnees (e.g.) residents start in July in academic/teaching hospitals. This has been called ‘the July effect’.
Objective: To evaluate access to specialized care and outcomes among patients admitted with an acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in July and other months.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that there were no significant differences in access to stroke care and outcomes for patients admitted in July when new trainees start at academic centers.
Methods: Patients presenting with an AIS at 11 stroke centers in Ontario, Canada, between 2003 and 2009 were identified from the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network. We compared performance measures and functional outcomes (death at 30 days, modified Rankin Scale 3 to 5 at discharge) between AIS patients admitted in July of each studied year and those who admitted during other months.
Results: Of 10,319 eligible patients with an AIS, 882 (8.5%) were admitted in July. There was not difference in age, sex, or baseline stroke severity between patients admitted in July or other months. Among the performance measures analyzed, AIS admitted in July were less likely to receive thrombolysis (12.1% vs. 16.0%, p=0.002), swallowing test (64.4% vs. 67.9%, p=0.033), and admission to stroke unit (61.9% vs. 67.6%, <0.001). There was no difference in death at 30-days (16.4% vs. 16.1%, p=0.823) or poor functional outcome (61.0% vs. 63.5%, p=0.14) between two groups (Table).
Conclusion: AIS patients admitted in July were less likely to receive thrombolysis and be admitted to stroke units compared to patients admitted on the rest of the year. However, there was no negative effect of “admission on July” on functional outcome or death.
Author Disclosures: T. Park: None. J. Pongmoragot: None. S. Li: None. G. Saposnik: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.