Introduction: Although telemedicine (TM) has increased tPA use for acute ischemic stroke (AIS), there are delays between when an AIS patient enters the ED and when the TM consultant is paged. We identified predictors of delayed door-to-page time (DTP) for AIS patients evaluated on TM.
Hypothesis: We investigated spoke characteristics associated with the time between patient arrival and the TM code stroke page.
Methods: We identified suspected AIS patients in our telestroke registry who were evaluated by video consultation at one of 15 spoke hospitals within six hours of symptom onset (9/2015-3/2016). We compared DTP among spokes and identified factors associated with prolonged DTP.
Results: Median DTP was 22 minutes (12-38, Q1-Q3). Of 382 cases 44.0% had DTP ≤20 minutes and 13.5% >60 minutes (Figure). There was no significant difference in DTP among patients of different age, gender, race/ethnicity, and stroke severity (Table). Hospitals with fewer beds, no pre-notification protocols, location in a medically underserved area (MUA), and less in-house neurology availability had delayed DTP.
Conclusions: Bed capacity, pre-notification, location in a MUA, and in-house neurology availability are associated with prolonged DTP. While retrospective in nature, our study confirms the utility of pre-notification for spoke hospitals. Further investigation is needed to understand why smaller hospitals and spokes in a MUA have longer DTP, and how in-house neurology coverage affects DTP. In addition, standardized acute stroke metrics over TM are needed.