Background: The benefit of intravenous thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke is time dependent. To assist hospitals in providing faster thrombolytic treatment, the American Heart Association launched target: stroke quality initiative in January 2010 which disseminated feasible strategies to shorten door-to-needle times for thrombolytic therapy. This study aimed to examine whether target: stroke was associated with improved door-to-needle times and 1-year outcomes. Methods: We analyzed Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years receiving intravenous thrombolytic treatment for acute ischemic stroke at 1490 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals during January 2006 and December 2009 (preintervention, n=10 804) and January 2010 and December 2014 (postintervention, n=31 249). The median age was 80 years and 42.7% were male. Results: The median door-to-needle times decreased from 80 minutes for the preintervention to 68 minutes for the postintervention (P<0.001). The proportion of patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis with door-to-needle times 45 minutes and 60 minutes increased from 9.6% and 24.8% for preintervention to 17.1% and 40.6% for postintervention, respectively (P<0.001). The annual rate of increase in the door-to-needle times of 60 minutes or less accelerated from 0.20% (95% CI, -0.43% to 0.83%) per each 4 quarters for preintervention to 5.68% (95% CI, 5.23%-6.13%) for postintervention (P<0.001) which was further confirmed in piecewise multivariable generalized estimating analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.19-1.35]). Cox proportional hazards analysis, after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics and within-hospital clustering, showed that target: stroke was associated with lower all-cause readmission (40.4% versus 44.1%; hazard ratio, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.88-0.95]), cardiovascular readmission (19.7% versus 22.9%; hazard ratio, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.80-0.89]), and composite of all-cause mortality or readmission (56.0% versus 58.4%; hazard ratio, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.93-1.00]). The risk decline in all-cause mortality dissipated after risk adjustment (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.98 [95% CI, 0.94-1.02]). Conclusions: Target: stroke quality initiative was associated with faster thrombolytic treatment times for acute ischemic stroke and modestly lower 1-year all-cause and cardiovascular readmissions.
- odds ratio
- thrombolytic therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine