Excellence in regional stroke care: an evaluation of the implementation of a stroke care unit in regional Australia

McCann, Leanne, Groot, Patrick, Charnley, Chris, and Gardner, Anne (2009) Excellence in regional stroke care: an evaluation of the implementation of a stroke care unit in regional Australia. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 17 (5). pp. 273-278.

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Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a formalised stroke service in a regional hospital.

Design: A pretest post-test design.

Setting: An acute stroke unit in a regional health service.

Participants: Overall sample comprised 80 patients with 36 (45.0%) men. Forty patients (19 men, 21 women) comprised pre-intervention group and 40 (17 men, 23 women) post-intervention group.

Interventions: Establishment of an acute stroke unit.

Main outcome measure(s): Increased frequency in meeting key performance indicators for acute stroke care as recommended by National Stroke Foundation.

Results: On discharge, fewer survivors in the pre-intervention group were independent (n = 5) and returned home (n = 9) than the post-intervention group (n = 13) for both independent and returned home. More survivors in the pre-intervention group were discharged to aged care or inpatient rehab (n = 22) than the post-intervention group (n = 12). Within required time frames, the frequency of CT scans (χ2 (1, 80) = 4.1, P < 0.05), swallow assessments (χ2 (1, 80) = 9.0, P < 0.01), occupational therapy assessments (χ2 (1, 80) = 14.5, P < 0.0001), multidisciplinary meetings involving patient and family (χ2 (1, 80) = 19.9, P < 0.0001) and self-management plans (χ2 (1, 80) = 10.9, P < 0.05) all increased significantly.

Conclusions: Our evaluation demonstrated that introduction of formalised stroke care to a regional hospital resulted in improved compliance with key performance indicators and better patient outcomes. Thus evidence-based specialised stroke care can be offered with confidence in regional populations.

Item ID: 8209
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: acute stroke unit, nursing, regional health, rural health, stroke care
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2010 04:31
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 100%
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