In the management of acute ischemic stroke, guideline adherence is often suboptimal, particularly for intravenous thrombolysis or anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation. We sought to improve stroke care quality via a collaborative model, the Breakthrough Series (BTS)-Stroke activity, in a nationwide, multi-center activity in Taiwan. A BTS Collaborative, a short-term learning system for a large number of multidisciplinary teams from hospitals, was applied to enhance acute ischemic stroke care quality. Twenty-four hospitals participated in and submitted data for this stroke quality improvement campaign in 2010-2011. Totally, 14 stroke quality measures, adopted from the Get With The Guideline (GWTG)-Stroke program, were used to evaluate the performance and outcome of the ischemic stroke patients. Data for a one-year period from 24 hospitals with 13,181 acute ischemic stroke patients were analyzed. In 14 hospitals, most stroke quality measures improved significantly during the BTS-activity compared with a pre-BTS-Stroke activity period (2006-08). The rate of intravenous thrombolysis increased from 1.2% to 4.6%, door-to-needle time ≤60 minutes improved from 7.1% to 50.8%, symptomatic hemorrhage after intravenous thrombolysis decreased from 11.0% to 5.6%, and anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation increased from 32.1% to 64.1%. The yearly composite measures of five stroke quality measures revealed significant improvements from 2006 to 2011 (75% to 86.3%, p<0.001). The quarterly composite measures also improved significantly during the BTS-Stroke activity. In conclusion, a BTS collaborative model is associated with improved guideline adherence for patients with acute ischemic stroke. GWTG-Stroke recommendations can be successfully applied in countries besides the United States.
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