Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard

Despite well-established guidelines, not all people with stroke receive appropriate treatment. The Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard highlights key aspects of care for acute stroke, a time-critical medical emergency. 

Why do we need the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard?

Stroke is a serious medical emergency, and timely treatment is critical. With the right treatment at the right time, many people are able to recover from stoke.

Since the clinical care standard was first released in 2015, there have been considerable gains in the care of people with acute stroke. However there is still room for improvement. Newer therapies are available to treat blood clots that can cause stroke, including clot-busting medicines (thrombolysis) and clot retrieval. However many patients do not receive these potentially life-saving treatments. Fewer Australian patients receive timely thrombolysis than in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard was reviewed against current guidelines in 2019. It remains highly relevant to the care provided in Australia health services.

The Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard

The Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard contains seven quality statements describing the care a patient should be offered for acute stroke.

Download the revised Acute Stroke Clinical Standard

2019
Publication, report or update

The Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard includes guidance for consumers, clinicians and health service organisations.

Indicators for local monitoring

A set of indicators is available to assist with local implementation of the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard. Clinicians and health services can use the indicators to monitor the implementation of quality statements and support improvement as needed.

The indicators were revised in 2019 to reflect changes in acute stroke care, including the increasing use of endovascular thrombectomy (removal of clots). 

A brief description of the indicators is included in the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard resource. The full indicator specifications are available at: https://meteor.aihw.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/719072

The indicators align with other national collaborative efforts to monitor and improve the quality of acute stroke care. These include the:

  • Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) 
  • Australian Stroke Data Tool (AuSDaT), a single data collection tool for clinical monitoring in stroke care for use by clinicians in acute and rehabilitation services.
  • National Stroke Data Dictionary (NSDD), which provides standardised definitions, coding and recording guidance for all data items collected in AuSDaT.

Related resources

2019
Fact sheet or brochure

An overview of the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard for consumers.

2019
Fact sheet or brochure

An overview of the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard for clinicians.

Evidence Sources

2019
Publication, report or update

The Evidence Sources document provides the evidence sources used to develop the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard.

Case for improvement

2016
Publication, report or update

The Case for Improvement paper explains what each quality statement means, why it matters, and how use of the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard could improve patient outcomes.

Presentations

Previous presentations about the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard are linked below. 

More information

Further information and resources relating to stroke are available from the following links:

References

1. Stroke Foundation. National Stroke Audit: Acute Services Report 2017.