Outcomes From a Nursing-Driven Acute Stroke Care Protocol for Telehealth Encounters

Dai Wai M. Olson, Michelle Provencher, Sonja E. Stutzman, Linda S. Hynan, Sava Novakovic, Sandeep Guttikonda, Stephen Figueroa, Roberta Novakovic-White, Julian P Yang, Mark P. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Nursing care is widely recognized to be a vital element in stroke care delivery. However, no publications examining clinical education and optimal workflow practices as predictors of acute ischemic stroke care metrics exist. This study aimed to explore the impact of a nurse-led workflow to improve patient care that included telestroke encounters in the emergency department. Methods: A nonrandomized prospective pre- and postintervention unit-level feasibility study design was used to explore how implementing nurse-driven acute stroke care affects the efficiency and quality of telestroke encounters in the emergency department. Nurses and providers in the emergency department received education/training, and then the Nursing-Driven Acute Ischemic Stroke Care protocol was implemented. Results: There were 180 acute ischemic stroke encounters (40.3%) in the control phase and 267 (59.7%) in the postintervention phase with similar demographic characteristics. Comparing the control with intervention times directly affected by the nurse-driven protocol, there was a significant reduction in median door-to-provider times (5 [interquartile range 12] vs 2 [interquartile range 9] minutes, P < .001) and in median door-to–computed tomography scan times (9 [interquartile range 18] vs 5 [interquartile range 11] minutes, P < .001); however, the metrics potentially affected by extraneous variables outside of the nurse-driven protocol demonstrated longer median door-to-ready times (21 [interquartile range 24] vs 25 [interquartile range 25] minutes, P < .001). Door-to-specialist and door-to-needle times were not significantly different. Discussion: In this sample, implementation of the nurse-driven acute stroke care protocol is associated with improved nurse-sensitive stroke time metrics but did not translate to faster delivery of thrombolytic agents for acute ischemic stroke, emphasizing the importance of well-outlined workflows and standardized stroke code protocols at every point in acute ischemic stroke care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Emergency medicine
  • Nursing
  • Stroke
  • Telehealth
  • Time to treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency


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