The Australian Stroke Clinical Registry Annual Report 2022
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. Since 2009, the AuSCR has provided national data on consecutive patients admitted to hospital with acute stroke, which has been used to inform improvements to the health system.
In 2022, 61 hospitals contributed data to the AuSCR: 48% from Victoria; 34% from Queensland; 5% each from South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia; and 3% from the Australian Capital Territory.
Information is presented on 17,184 episodes of acute stroke for 15,880 patients.
This Annual Report highlights the ongoing variation in stroke care in Australia. Many patients are missing out on the best available, evidence-based care. For example, one in four patients are not treated in a dedicated stroke unit, which is known to improve care in hospital, and outcomes after discharge, and two in three patients are treated with thrombolysis outside the recommended 60 minutes from arrival.
We report essential, standardised evidence in support of national clinical guidelines, standards of care expected for acute stroke. We highlighted areas where Australian hospitals have made improvements, and others that should be improved including the urgent need to improve the quality of care for people experiencing intracerebral haemorrhage. Collectively, these findings underpin the continued importance of actively addressing practice gaps and ensuring access to evidence-based care. The benefits of stroke units were highlighted and we must ensure that all patients with stroke are treated in stroke units.
It is essential that quality improvement programs are supported and that the data from AuSCR are used proactively. We have innovated in different areas of data feedback methods to support clinicians to understand their data, and have informed conversations with hospital executives. In 2022, the AuSCR pioneered the development of new, interactive data dashboards. These dashboards allow hospital clinicians to securely access their data in near real-time to explore opportunities to improve stroke care in greater detail. Through co-design with clinicians, a series of prototypes and features were initially prioritised to guide the dashboard development.
We also welcome the recent announcement of National Stroke Targets be achieved by 2030. The AuSCR looks forward to working with organisations, such as the Stroke Foundation, Australian and New Zealand Stroke Organisation, the Australian Stroke Coalition and state health departments, to support hospitals to achieve these targets. The AuSCR data will continue to provide the essential evidence to monitor progress against the new national stroke targets. In this Annual Report, for the first time we report performance against these National Stroke Targets. In future Annual Reports, comparisons against these baseline values will be undertaken to track progress in meeting these targets.
We acknowledge and gratefully respect the important contributions from patients, caregivers, and hospital clinicians.
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