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Health Systems Research

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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Processes of Care that are Associated With Reduced Risk of Recurrent Vascular Events Among Patients With a Transient Ischemic Attack and Minor Stroke

Bravata DM, Myers L, Reeves M, Cheng EM, Baye F, Ofner S, Miech EJ, Damush TM, Sico JJ, Zillich A, Phipps M, Williams LS, Chaturvedi S, Johanning J, Ferguson J, Yu Z, Arling G. Processes of Care that are Associated With Reduced Risk of Recurrent Vascular Events Among Patients With a Transient Ischemic Attack and Minor Stroke. [Abstract]. Stroke; A Journal of Cerebral Circulation. 2017 Feb 1; 48(1):A162.

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Background: Interventions that emphasize early evaluation and management of patients with TIA and minor stroke have demonstrated reductions in recurrent vascular events. Objective: To identify processes of care that were associated with reduced risk of recurrent vascular events after TIA or minor stroke. Methods: We identified patients with a TIA or minor stroke cared for in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Emergency Department or inpatient ward (fiscal year 2011). Recurrent vascular events included ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, heart failure, arrhythmia or death within 90-days and 1-year of discharge. 32 processes of care were examined. Defect-free care was assessed for a set of 6 processes (brain imaging, carotid artery imaging, hypertension management, high or moderate potency statin, antithrombotics, and anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation); patients who received all processes for which they were eligible passed the defect-free measure. Multivariable logistic regression with a random facility effect was used to model recurrent events. Clinically important potential confounders were forced into all models; other significant covariates were identified by backward selection. Results: Among 8107 patients, 14.0% had a recurrent vascular event within 90-days; 26.5% within 1-year. Three processes were associated with lower 90-day events after adjustment for 24 covariates: carotid artery imaging (adjusted OR, 0.74 [95%CI, 0.65-0.85], lipid measurement (0.80 [0.68-0.94]), and anticoagulation quality for atrial fibrillation (0.56 [0.35-0.88]). Three processes were associated with reduced 1-year events: carotid artery imaging (0.80 [0.71-0.89]), lipid measurement (0.85 [0.75-0.97]), and timely carotid stenosis intervention (0.49 [0.26-0.94]). The defect-free care rate, observed in 17.4%, was also associated with a reduction in recurrent vascular event risk both within 90-days (0.78 [0.65-0.93]) and 1-year (0.82 [0.71-0.94]). Conclusions: The delivery of a comprehensive set of clinical processes was associated with clinically meaningful reductions in short and longer-term risk of recurrent vascular events. Widespread implementation of these processes should be strongly considered.

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