Stroke care quality for VA patients varies across facilities

Care quality for patients with transient ischemic attack or minor stroke varies significantly when examining different care elements and facilities, according to a JAMA Neurology study.

The researchers examined the quality of guideline-recommended care for 8,201 patients with TIA or minor stroke who received care across the Veterans Health Administration system nationwide during the 2014 federal fiscal year.

They assessed 10 elements of care using validated electronic quality measures. Performance varied across several elements of care, including brain imaging, antithrombotic use, hypertension control and neurology consultation.

Additionally, performance varied considerably across care facilities. The researchers found higher performance levels for patients who were admitted to the care facility than for patients who only received care in emergency departments.

"Health care systems should engage in ongoing TIA care performance assessment to complement existing stroke performance measurement," the researchers concluded.

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