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Medical News & Perspectives
January 6, 2010

Researchers Hope Measuring Performance Will Improve Stroke Care and Prevention

JAMA. 2010;303(1):17-18. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1862

A registry designed to collect and share hospital performance data can improve stroke care, a new study suggests. But the advancements so far have appeared only in selected areas, leaving those involved in stroke care and prevention still with plenty to do.

The study, released November 6 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), focused on the state-based Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry, which measures 10 performance metrics representative of quality stroke care. The analysis found that participating hospitals during 2005-2007, compared with the 2001-2004 prototype phase, substantially improved their rates of antithrombotic therapy prescribed at discharge, smoking cessation counseling, lipid testing, and dysphagia screening. However, the frequency of delivery of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) to eligible patients and of transport of patients to the hospital by emergency medical services (EMS) remained stubbornly low (George MG et al. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2009;58[7]:1-23).

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