Objective: Access to care is an important healthcare goal but access to research is also important to patients. We sought to gain an understanding of the status of stroke research among the various stroke designated hospitals in the state and to identify regions and facilities that lack access to stroke research.
Methods: Texas Department of State Health Service (TDSHS) designated stroke facilities (DSF) were surveyed using a standardized questionnaire via telephone/email to confirm stroke center status, presence of a dedicated stroke coordinator, use of telestroke services, and participation in stroke research. Stroke discharge data were obtained from TDSHS and stroke volume (by ICD) were estimated for 2013 for all non-DSF. Census data were obtained from the US Census Bureau.
Results: In total, 109/136 (80%) TDSHS DSF responded to the survey. Only 32/109 (29%) of the TDSHS DSF are participating in stroke research, mostly in the 4 metropolitan areas (fig 1). We identified 16 non-DSF that have 100-149 stroke discharges, and another 21 non-DSF that have ≥ 150 stroke discharges (fig 1). Over half (53%) of the DSF in the state are utilizing telestroke services.
Conclusions: Most clinical stroke research conducted in Texas is in the 4 metropolitan markets. Our findings demonstrate that over 50% or ~14 million Texans reside outside of the 4 markets and therefore may lack access to stroke research. To increase access, we identified several non-DSF in the state with substantial stroke discharges (fig 1). Academic centers and non-DSF partnering through telemedicine and other relationships should be considered to expand throughout the state opportunities for participation in stroke research.