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Pathways to enhancing the quality of stroke care through national data monitoring systems for hospitals

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Stroke care needs an integrated system for monitoring the quality of hospital care

In Australia, over 50 000 new strokes occur each year and 420 000 people live with the effects of stroke.1 All are at high risk of recurrent vascular events. Evidence exists for effective treatments to prevent stroke and subsequent disability,2 but these treatments are not universally applied, creating unwarranted clinical variation and gaps in care.3

Monitoring quality is a major focus for funders, providers and consumers of health care. In Australia, as in other countries, there is a range of systems in place to collect data, but this creates inconsistency, duplication and data excesses.4,5 Since most people who suffer acute stroke are admitted to hospital,6 an integrated system of monitoring care in this setting has strong potential to provide an appraisal of the quality of care.

In addition to government-collected hospital data, two complementary national programs currently…