Establishment of primary stroke centers: A survey of physician attitudes and hospital resources

Chelsea S. Kidwell, T. Shephard, S. Tonn, B. Lawyer, M. Murdock, W. Koroshetz, M. Alberts, G. J. Hademenos, J. L. Saver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objectives: To survey US physicians involved in acute stroke care to determine the proportion of hospitals that currently meet the recommended Brain Attack Coalition (BAC) criteria for Primary Stroke Centers (PSC) and obtain opinions regarding the value of stroke centers. Methods: A survey regarding the BAC guidelines for the establishment of stroke centers was mailed to 3,245 US neurologists, neurosurgeons, and emergency physicians. Results: A total of 1,032 responses were received. Seventy-nine percent (range by specialty 58 to 98%) of respondents believed there was a need for stroke centers. If formal stroke center designation were established, 81% (range 72 to 90%) would like their hospital to become a PSC. Although 77% of respondents believed that their hospital currently met recommended criteria for a PSC, only 7% actually meet all recommended elements. However, 44% of hospitals already provide most acute stroke services. The BAC criteria most frequently lacking were continuing medical education for professional stroke center staff, stroke training for emergency department staff, formal establishment of a stroke unit, and designation of a stroke center director. Conclusions: The majority of emergency medicine and neuroscience physician respondents involved in acute stroke care support the designation of primary stroke centers. Although respondents globally overestimated the extent to which their facilities currently meet BAC recommended criteria for PSC, detailed responses suggested that over 40% of hospitals possess substantial existing acute stroke care resources and are poised to function as PSC with modest additional administrative and financial commitment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1452-1456
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 13 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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