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.1
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
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.
Case for improvement
Previous presentations about the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard are linked below.
- Professor Richard Lindley, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Sydney Medical School
- Ms Brenda Booth, stroke survivor and consumer representative
- Professor Craig Anderson, Director of Stroke Services, RPA
- Dr Erin Lalor, former CEO, Stroke Foundation
Further information and resources relating to stroke are available from the following links:
- My Stroke Journey - a resource kit for survivors of stroke and their carers.
- The Stroke Foundation - resources relating to stroke prevention, treatment and research.
- AuSDaT - The Australian Stroke Data Tool to offer hospital clinicians in acute and rehabilitation settings a single data collection tool for clinical monitoring in stroke care.
- InformMe - a dedicated resource for health professionals to improve the treatment of stroke care.
1. Stroke Foundation. National Stroke Audit: Acute Services Report 2017.