Strategies have been proposed for stroke care to improve quality or reduce cost. We sought to document the effects of a new program of specialized stroke care. Methods In a programmatic review using historical and concurrent control subjects, we evaluated patients discharged with a stroke diagnosis (diagnosis-related group 14) over a 6-year period between January 1987 and December 1992. Patients were from an academic medical center. The intervention was consultation (on university neurology patients) by a specialized multidisciplinary team during the last 2 years of the review period. The main outcome measures were median length of stay and rate of common complications before and after implementation compared with other hospital services (private neurology and medicine). Results Stroke team involvement was associated with a shortened median length of stay from 10 to 8 days (P less than.0001). There was no significant change in the median length of stay for the private neurology or medicine services. After stroke team involvement, there were fewer urinary tract infections (P equals.056), and those patients who developed infection had a shorter length of stay (P equals.0007). There was no change in the rate of aspiration pneumonia or in length of stay for patients with aspiration pneumonia. Mortality did not change. Conclusions A coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to stroke care may reduce length of stay and morbidity in patients hospitalized because of stroke.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing