May 1, 2016

24/7 Neurocritical Care Nurse Practitioner Coverage Reduced Door-to-Needle Time in Stroke Patients Treated with Tissue Plasminogen Activator

Jennifer L. Moran, MS, ACNP; Kazuma Nakagawa, MD; Susan M. Asai, MSN, FNP; and Matthew A. Koenig, MD

Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases

BACKGROUND:  Stroke centers with limited on-site neurovascular physician coverage may experience delays in acute stroke treatment. We sought to assess the impact of providing 24/7 neurocritical care acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) “stroke code” first responder coverage on treatment delays in acute stroke patients who received tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).

METHODS:  Consecutive acute ischemic stroke patients treated with intravenous tPA at a primary stroke center on Oahu between 2009 and 2014were retrospectively studied. 24/7 ACNP stroke code coverage (intervention) was introduced on July 1, 2011. The tPA utilization, door-to-needle (DTN) time, imaging-to-needle (ITN) time, and independent ambulation at hospital discharge were compared between the preintervention period (24 months) and the postintervention period (33 months).

RESULTS:  We studied 166 stroke code patients who were treated with intravenous tPA, 44 of whom were treated during the preintervention period and 122 of whom were treated during the postintervention period. After the intervention, the median DTN time was reduced from 53 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] 45-73) to 45 minutes (IQR 35-58) (P = .001), and the median ITN time was reduced from 36 minutes (IQR 28-64) to 21 minutes (IQR 16-31) (P < .0001). Compliance with the 60-minute target DTN improved from 61.4% (27 of 44 patients) in the preintervention period to 81.2% (99 of 122 patients) in the postintervention period (P = .004). The tPA treatment rates were similar between the preintervention and postintervention periods (P = .60).

CONCLUSIONS:  Addition of 24/7 on-site neurocritical care ACNP first responder coverage for acute stroke code significantly reduced the DTN time among acute stroke patients treated with tPA.

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