Cumbler, E., Wald, H., Bhatt, D. L., Cox, M., Xian, Y., Reeves, M., Smith, E. E., Schwamm, L., Fonarow, G. C. Quality of Care and Outcomes for In-Hospital Ischemic Stroke: Findings From the National Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Stroke. 2013;NA(NA):NA.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Analysis of quality of care for in-hospital stroke has not been previously performed at the national level. This study compares patient characteristics, process measures of quality, and outcomes for in-hospital strokes with those for community-onset strokes in a national cohort.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) database of The American Heart Association from January 2006 to April 2012, using data from 1280 sites that reported ≥1 in-hospital stroke. Patient characteristics, comorbid illnesses, medications, quality of care measures, and outcomes were analyzed for 21 349 in-hospital ischemic strokes compared with 928 885 community-onset ischemic strokes.

RESULTS: Patients with in-hospital stroke had more thromboembolic risk factors, including atrial fibrillation, prosthetic heart valves, carotid stenosis, and heart failure (P<0.0001), and experienced more severe strokes (median National Institutes of Health Stroke Score 9.0 versus 4.0; P<0.0001). Using GWTG-Stroke achievement measures, the proportion of patients with defect-free care was lower for in-hospital strokes (60.8% versus 82.0%; P<0.0001). After accounting for patient and hospital characteristics, patients with in-hospital strokes were less likely to be discharged home (adjusted odds ratio 0.37; 95% confidence intervals [0.35-0.39]) or be able to ambulate independently at discharge (adjusted odds ratio 0.42; 95% confidence intervals [0.39-0.45]). In-hospital mortality was higher for in-hospital stroke (adjusted odds ratio 2.72; 95% confidence intervals [2.57-2.88]).

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with community-onset ischemic stroke, patients with in-hospital stroke experienced more severe strokes, received lower adherence to process-based quality measures, and had worse outcomes. These findings suggest there is an important opportunity for targeted quality improvement efforts for patients with in-hospital stroke.