Background: There remains significant opportunities to reduce door-to-needle (DTN) times for stroke despite regional and national efforts. In Chicago, Quality Enhancement for the Speedy Thrombolysis for Stroke (QUESTS) was a one year learning collaborative (LC) which aimed to reduce DTN times at 15 Chicago Primary Stroke Centers. Identification of barriers and sharing of best practices resulted in achieving DTN < 60 minutes within the first quarter of the 2013 initiative and has sustained progress to date. Aligned with Target: Stroke goals, QUESTS 2.0, funded for the 2016 calendar year, invited 9 additional metropolitan Chicago area hospitals to collaborate and further reduce DTN times to a goal < 45 minutes in 50% of eligible patients.
Methods: All 24 hospitals participate in the Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) Stroke registry and benchmark group to track DTN performance improvement in 2016. Hospitals implement American Heart Association’s Target Stroke program and share best practices uniquely implemented at sites to reduce DTN times. The LC included a quality and performance improvement leader, a stroke content expert, site visits and quarterly meetings and learning sessions, and reporting of experiences and data.
Results: In 2015, the year prior to QUESTS 2.0, the proportion of patients treated with tPA within 45 minutes of hospital arrival increased from 21.6% in Q1 to 31.4% in Q2. During the 2016 funded year, this proportion changed from 31.6% in Q1 to 48.3% in Q2.
Conclusions: Using a learning collaborative model to implement strategies to reduce DTN times among 24 Chicago area hospitals continues to impact times. Regional collaboration, data sharing, and best practice sharing should be a model for rapid and sustainable system-wide quality improvement.