Abstract T P211: Continued Participation in a Telestroke Program Improves Time to Intravenous Thrombolysis
Background: Improved clinical outcomes after intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) are time dependent. Participation in a telestroke program allows the spoke hospitals 24/7 access to a vascular fellowship trained neurologist for a telestroke consult, as well as educational partnership with the hub site, shared protocols, and access to quality improvement feedback. We sought to assess the effects of continued participation in a telestroke program on times to administration of IV tPA.
Methods: Our institutional telestroke program began in March 2011 and consists of an academic hub (comprehensive stroke center) that serves 8 community spoke hospitals. We retrospectively reviewed acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA via the telestroke program. We compared 2 cohorts of patients: Period 1 (July 2011 to June 2013) and Period 2 (July 2013 to July 2014). We collected data on demographics, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and times from initiation of telestroke consult to IV tPA administration.
Results: Among 259 consecutive stroke patients (mean: 69.6 years, 56% female) treated with IV tPA via telestroke, the median NIHSS score was 11.8, and 41.7% of patients were transferred to the hub. The mean time from initiation of telestroke consult to IV tPA administration was 42.2 minutes. Period 1 included 129 patients and Period 2 included 130 patients, and the two groups did not differ by age (p=0.2), gender (p=0.3), or NIHSS score (p=0.3). Time from initiation of telestroke consult to IV tPA administration improved from Period 1 to Period 2 (35 vs. 49.9 minutes, p<0.0001). This improvement was due to faster mean time from initiation of telestroke consult to IV tPA advised (12.5 vs. 17.4 minutes, p<0.0001) and faster mean time from IV tPA advised to administration (22.5 vs. 33.1 minutes, p<0.0001).
Conclusions: Maturation of a telestroke program is associated with improvement in the timeliness of IV tPA delivery, possibly due to a learning effect that continues the longer the sites participate in the program. This improvement is due to faster responses in both the hub site (recommending IV tPA earlier) and spoke site (administering IV tPA quicker). Further studies aimed at improving delivery of IV tPA in telestroke program are warranted.
Author Disclosures: J.N. Muthana: None. J.J. Conners: None. S. Cutting: None. S.Y. Song: None. E. Diebolt: None. J. Bock: None. V.H. Lee: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.