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The Australian Stroke Clinical Registry Annual Report 2021

The Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) is a collaborative national effort to monitor and support improvements to the quality of acute care for patients with stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Since 2009, the AuSCR has provided national data on consecutive patients admitted to hospital with acute stroke or TIA, which has been used to inform improvements to the health system.

In 2021, 62 hospitals contributed data to the AuSCR. Information is presented from 18,251 patients on 19,753 presentations for acute stroke or TIA. At 90-180 days after admission, collection of patient-reported outcomes was completed for 65% of all eligible patients.

The findings presented in this report provide important insights into aspects of care to be improved to optimise patient outcomes after stroke in Australia. In this report we have highlighted some of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which may explain many of the reductions in access to quality acute care. Hospital workflows and processes, while needing to be flexible during a pandemic, should not mean that patients with stroke are disadvantaged. Access to specialised stroke units should not be compromised during a pandemic.

In this report, we also identified several sex differences in access to recommended stroke care. Access to guideline-recommended stroke care is a universal healthcare right which should be available to all, irrespective of sex.

Collectively, the findings underpin the continued importance of actively addressing practice gaps and ensuring access to evidence-based care.