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Healthcare Resource Availability, Quality of Care, and Acute Ischemic Stroke Outcomes


Healthcare resources vary geographically, but associations between hospital-based resources and acute stroke quality and outcomes remain unclear. Using Get With The Guidelines-Stroke and Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care data, we examined associations between healthcare resource availability, stroke care, and outcomes. We categorized hospital referral regions with high-, medium-, or low-resource levels based on the 2006 national per-capita availability median of 6 relevant acute stroke care resources. Using multivariable logistic regression, we examined healthcare resource level and in-hospital quality and outcomes. Of 1 480 308 admitted ischemic stroke patients (2006-2013), 28.8% were hospitalized in low-, 44.4% in medium-, and 26.9% in high-resource hospital referral regions. Quality-of-care/timeliness metrics, adjusted length of stay, and in-hospital mortality were similar across all resource levels. Significant variation exists in regional availability of healthcare resources for acute ischemic stroke treatment, yet among Get With the Guidelines-Stroke hospitals, quality of care and in-hospital outcomes did not differ by regional resource availability.

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