Background In acute stroke management, time efficiency in the continuum of patient management is critical. We aimed to determine if implementation of system improvements at our institution translated to reduced picture-to-puncture (P2P) times over a 6-year period.
Methods We conducted a single-center retrospective analysis using a prospective acute stroke database of patients treated with intra-arterial therapy from October 2007 to October 2013. Patient demographics, stroke severity, neuroimaging and treatment time points were collected. Annual P2P times, defined as the interval between pretreatment neuroimaging (picture) and commencement of intra-arterial therapy (puncture), were assessed and compared.
Results From 2007 to 2013 a total of 189 patients were identified, of which 181 met the study criteria. At initial presentation, median baseline NIH Stroke Severity score was 17.00 (IQR 11.00–22.00). Annual median P2P times decreased from 171 to 123.5 min, showing a median decrease of 11.5 min per annum (95% CI −23.9 to 0.9) and trending towards statistical significance (p=0.069). Plotted data revealed longer P2P times in instances where stroke onset or CT acquisition times were out-of-hours. Using median regression modeling, the annual decrease in P2P median time reached statistical significance when independently adjusting for CT acquisition time (13.5 min P2P median time reduction, 95% CI −27.0 to −0.1, p=0.048) and for stroke onset time (14.5 min annual P2P median time reduction, 95% CI −26.1 to −2.8, p=0.015).
Conclusions As a consequence of systems improvement at our institution, we were able to demonstrate improved annual median P2P times from 2007 to 2013.
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