The Particulars: Prior research suggests that less than 30% of acute ischemic stroke patients meet the door-to-needle time (DTN) goal of 60 minutes or less, as recommended in guidelines. The national initiative Target: Stroke was launched in 2010 to increase the number of patients who meet this goal.

Data Breakdown: The Target: Stroke initiative included the identification and dissemination of 10 best practice strategies associated with fast DTN times as well as clinical decision support tools. The program also facilitated hospital participation, implementation of effective strategies, and sharing of best practices. Annual DTN times in acute ischemic stroke patients before the program (2003-2009) were compared with DTN times after program initiation (2010-2013). The average DTN time decreased from 77 minutes prior to the program to 67 minutes after it was initiated. The rate of patients with DTN times of 60 minutes or less increased from 29.6% to 54.2%.

Take Home Pearl: Hospitals that implement the Target: Stroke initiative appear to substantially improve DTN times in acute ischemic stroke patients.