Q-15 Minutes Vital Sign Documentation Is a Poor Surrogate for Assessing Quality of Care after Acute Ischemic Stroke

Suzanne Stone, Huihan Zhao, Daniel Nyancho, Nathan J. Schneider, Ty Shang, Daiwai M. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective Documenting vital signs and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) once every 15 minutes after intravenous thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke is often used as a metric to assess the quality of care. This study explores the association between "once every 15 minutes"documentation and stroke outcomes. Methods This is a retrospective study of the first 2 hours of vital signs and NIHSS documentation after thrombolytic stroke therapy. Sociodemographic and clinical data, including NIHSS, temperature, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial blood pressure, and respiratory rate, were abstracted from the medical record. Missing documentation was examined for association with modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores and neurologic changes. Result Among 84 patients with a mean age of 68.8 years, there were 2276 documented assessments from an expected 3780. There were 104 clinically significant changes in 1 or more index variables. The most commonly missed documentation occurred during interventional radiology. After controlling for admission NIHSS, there was no significant relationship between the completeness of documentation and discharge mRS score (r2 = 0.047, P =.0561), nor between vital sign documentation and discharge mRS (r2 = 0.003, P =.6338). Conclusion Frequency of documentation does not reflect the quality of care during the early phase of acute stroke treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-332
Number of pages5
JournalDimensions of Critical Care Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • Acute ischemic stroke
  • Alteplase
  • Assessment
  • Nursing
  • Outcomes
  • Quality of care
  • Stroke
  • Thrombolytic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care


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