Background: Various strategies have been implemented to reduce acute stroke treatment times. A unique code process pathway was designed at our hospital specifically to be activated by the stroke team for the purpose of rapidly assembling the Neurointerventional team.
Methods: Code Neurointervention (NI), was designed and tested from January 2014 to April 2014 for all the patients who presented with ischemic strokes to our community based, university affiliated comprehensive stroke center. We retrospectively analyzed all patients who had Code NI called from May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015 and compared them to patients who underwent acute endovascular treatment the prior year (Non Code NI). The following parameters were compared: decision to recanalization and door to recanalization times. Further analysis was done to compare patients presenting during business hours (Monday-Friday 8am-5pm) and off hours using GraphPad QuickCalcs Web site.
Results: There were 28 Code NI; 14 were called during work hours and 14 during off hours. The previous year 25 patients underwent acute endovascular intervention; 12 during work hours and 13 during off hours. Mean decision to recanalization time was 106 (Code NI) vs 115 minutes (Non Code NI) (p<0.0.6) during work hours and 154 (Code NI) vs 139 minutes (Non Code NI) (p<0.37) during off hours. Mean door to recanalization time was 169 (Code NI) vs 173 minutes (Non Code NI) (p<0.85) during work hours and 252 (Code NI) vs 243minutes (Non Code NI) (p< 0.75) during off hours. Subset analysis of time parameters for patients in Code NI group showed mean decision to recanalization times of 106 minutes during work hours vs 154 minutes off work hours (p<0.004). Mean door to recanalization times were 169 minutes vs 251 minutes (p<0.0003), respectively.
Conclusion: Institution of Code NI significantly improved intervention time parameters during work hours as compared to off hours. Rapid assembly of the neurointervention team, rapid availability of imaging and angiography suite likely contribute to these differences. Further initiatives, such as improving neurointervention staff availability during off hours or cross training other staff can further improve acute intervention time parameters.