Background: While shorter door-to-needle (DTN) times with intravenous tPA is associated with better outcomes, prior studies have demonstrated that older patients are less likely to be treated within 60 minutes. Whether stroke quality improvement programs can impact care to a similar degree for older and younger patients has not been well studied. This study aims to assess the improvements in DTN times before and after the launch of Target: Stroke Phase I in 2010 among different age groups.
Methods: Target: Stroke identified and disseminated 10 best practice strategies, provided clinical decision support tools, and set hospital recognition goals. Rates of DTN times ≤60 minutes and cumulative improvements pre- 2003-2009 were compared to post-Target Stroke 2010-2013 for patients age <60, 60-69, 70-79, ≥80 years. Data were adjusted for patient and hospital characteristics, including stroke severity.
Results: There were 71,169 intravenous tPA treated patients (27,303 pre-; 43,866 post-Target Stroke) from 1030 GWTG-Stroke participating hospitals. Patients were median age 72 (IRQ 60-82). Overall, patients with DTN times ≤ 60 minutes increased from 26.5% (95% CI 26.0-27.1%) pre-intervention to 41.3% (95% CI 40.8-41.7%) post-intervention (P<.0001), reaching 51.0% in 2013. Patients ≥80 years were less likely to have DTN times ≤ 60 minutes pre-TS. There were slightly greater cumulative improvements in DTN times among the older age groups after adjustment for other patient and hospital characteristics (Table). While the differences in DTN ≤ 60 minutes were narrowed, they were not eliminated.
Conclusions: The implementation of Target: Stroke was associated with significant improvements in DTN times across all age groups, but differences by age, while narrowed, still persisted post-Target: Stroke. Despite overall progress, additional efforts will be needed to address these age related differences in timely stroke care.