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BMC Neurol. 2006 Jun 1;6:20.

Duration of hospital participation in a nationwide stroke registry is associated with improved quality of care.

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Department of Neurology, Box 0114, University of California San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Ave., M-798, San Francisco, CA 94143-0114, USA.



There are several proven therapies for patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), including prophylaxis of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and initiation of antithrombotic medications within 48 h and at discharge. Stroke registries have been promoted as a means of increasing use of such interventions, which are currently underutilized.


From 1999 through 2003, 86 U.S. hospitals participated in Ethos, a voluntary web-based acute stroke treatment registry. Detailed data were collected on all patients admitted with a diagnosis of TIA or ischemic stroke. Rates of optimal treatment (defined as either receipt or a valid contraindication) were examined within each hospital as a function of its length of time in registry. Generalized estimating equations were used to adjust for patient and hospital characteristics.


A total of 16,301 patients were discharged with a diagnosis of stroke or TIA from 50 hospitals that participated for more than 1 year. Rates of optimal treatment during the first 3 months of participation were as follows: 92.5% for antithrombotic medication within 48 h, 84.6% for antithrombotic medications at discharge, and 77.1% for DVT prophylaxis. Rates for all treatments improved with duration of participation in the registry (p < 0.05), with the most dramatic improvements in the first year.


In a large cohort of patients with stroke or TIA, three targeted quality-improvement measures improved among hospitals participating in a disease-specific registry. Although the changes could be attributed to interventions other than the registry, these findings demonstrate the potential for hospital-level interventions to improve care for patients with stroke and TIA.

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