1. Mitchell, Erin
  2. Reynolds, Staci S.
  3. Mower-Wade, Donna
  4. Raser-Schramm, Jonathan
  5. Granger, Bradi B.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Ischemic stroke continues to be a leading cause of serious disability within the United States, affecting 795 000 people annually. Approximately 12% to 21% of post-ischemic stroke patients will be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. Studies suggest that implementation of a follow-up appointment within 7 to 14 days of discharge improves 30-day readmission rates; however, implementation of these guidelines is uncommon, and follow-up visits within the recommended window are not often achieved. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the impact of an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)-led stroke clinic on follow-up care for post-ischemic stroke patients. The aims were to improve time to follow-up visit and reduce 30-day unplanned readmissions. METHODS: A pre/post intervention design was used to evaluate the impact of a process to access the APRN-led stroke clinic. The intervention included a scheduling process redesign, and subsequent APRN and scheduler education. RESULTS: The time to clinic follow-up preintervention averaged 116.9 days, which significantly reduced to 33.6 days post intervention, P = .0001. Unplanned readmissions within 30 days declined from 11.5% to 9.9%; however, it was not statistically significant, P = .149. Age was not statistically different between preintervention and postintervention groups, P = .092, and other demographics were similar between the groups. CONCLUSION: An APRN-led clinic can improve follow-up care and may reduce unplanned 30-day readmissions for post-ischemic stroke patients. Further work is needed to determine the impact of alternative approaches such as telehealth.