Background: Stroke may occur during hospital admission (in-hospital stroke). Although patients with in-hospital stroke are potentially good candidates for reperfusion therapy, they often do not receive treatment as rapidly as expected. Aims: We investigated the effect of a code stroke program for in-hospital stroke, which included the use of computerized physician order entry, specific evaluation and treatment protocols for in-hospital stroke patients, and regular education of medical staffs. Methods: We implemented the program in the cardiology and cardiovascular surgery departments/wards (target-ward group) in November 2008. We compared time intervals from symptom onset to evaluation and reperfusion treatment before and after program implementation between the target-ward and other departments/wards (other-ward group). Results: Among 70 consecutive in-hospital stroke patients who received reperfusion therapy between July 2002 and February 2015, 28 and 42 were treated before and after program implementation, respectively. After program implementation, time intervals from symptom onset to neurology notification (50 min vs. 28 min; P = 0.033), symptom onset to brain imaging (91 min vs. 41 min; P < 0.001), and symptom recognition to notification (22 min vs. 9 min; P = 0.011) were reduced in the target-ward group. Finally, times from symptom onset to intravenous tissue plasminogen activator administration and to arterial puncture were reduced by 55 min (120 min vs. 65 min; P < 0.001) and 130 min (295 min vs. 165 min; P < 0.001), respectively. However, time reductions in the other-ward group were not significant. Conclusions: The comprehensive program for in-hospital stroke that included the use of computerized physician order entry was effective in reducing time intervals to evaluation and reperfusion therapy.
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