Background "Door to treatment" time affects outcomes of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients undergoing endovascular treatment (EVT). However, the correlation between staff education and accessible technology with stroke outcomes has not been demonstrated. Objective The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the five-year impact of the Stroke Triage Education, Procedure Standardization, and Technology (STEPS-T) program on time-to-treat and clinical outcomes. Methods The study analyzed a prospectively maintained database of AIS patients who benefited from EVT through implementation of STEPS-T. Demographics, clinical characteristics, and modified Rankin Score at three months were analyzed. Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) scale was used to grade pre- and post-procedure angiographic recanalization. Using electronic hemodynamic recording, stepwise workflow times were collected for door time (TD), entering angiography suite (TA), groin puncture (TG), first DSA (TDSA), microcatheter placement (TM), and final recanalization (TR). Median intervention time (TA to TR) and recanalization time (TG to TR) were compared through Year 1 to Year 5. Results A total of 230 individuals (age 74 ± 12, between 30 to 95) were enrolled. Median intervention and recanalization times were significantly reduced, from 121 minutes to 52 minutes and from 83 minutes to 36 minutes respectively from Year 1 to Year 5, ( p < 0.001). Across the study period, annual recruitment went up from 12 to 66 patients, and modified Rankin Score between 0 and 2 increased from 36% to 59% ( p = 0.024). Conclusions STEPS-T improved time-to-treat in patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy for AIS. During the observation period, clinical outcomes significantly improved.
Keywords: Stroke; angiography; mechanical thrombectomy; quality improvement.