Establishing Recommendations for Stroke Systems in the Thrombectomy Era: The Upstate New York Stakeholder Proceedings

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Department of Health Stroke Coverdell Program convened a stakeholder meeting in upstate NY to develop recommendations to enhance stroke systems for acute large vessel occlusion.

Methods—

Prehospital, hospital, and Department of Health leadership were invited (n=157). Participants provided goals/concerns and developed recommendations for prehospital triage and interfacility transport, rating each using a 3-level impact (A [high], B, and C [low]) and implementation feasibility (1 [high], 2, and 3 [low]) scale. Six weeks later, participants finalized recommendations.

Results—

Seventy-one stakeholders (45% of invitees) attended. Six themes around goals/concerns emerged: (1) emergency medical services capacity, (2) validated prehospital screening tools, (3) facility capability, (4) triage/transport guidelines, (5) data capture/feedback tools, and (6) facility competition. In response, high-impact (level A) prehospital recommendations, stratified by implementation feasibility, were (1) use of online medical control for triage (6%); (2) regional transportation strategy (31%), standardized emergency medical services checklists (18%), quality metrics (14%), standardized prehospital screening tools (13%), and feedback for performance improvement (7%); and (3) smartphone application algorithm for screening/decision-making (6%) and ambulance-based telemedicine (6%). Level A interfacility transfer recommendations were (1) standardized transfer process (32%)/timing goals (16%)/regionalized systems (11%), performance metrics (11%), image sharing capabilities (7%); (2) provider education (9%) and stroke toolbox (5%); and (3) interfacility telemedicine (7%) and feedback (2%).

Conclusions—

The methods used and recommendations generated provide models for stroke system enhancement. Implementation may vary based on geographic need/capacity and be contingent on establishing standard care practices. Further research is needed to establish optimal implementation strategies.

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