Transitional hospital team cuts stroke risk by two thirds

In another win for transitional care, a study published in the November issue of the European Journal of Neurology found that having a special hospital team coordinate care for "mini-stroke" patients reduced the risk of further vascular events by two-thirds.

After patients who had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) were treated by a special team, which involved nurse-led counseling and outpatient and stroke care integration, their risk of having a stroke in the first seven days dropped 65 percent lower than projected, and risk in the first 90 days dropped 74 percent.     

"The aim of our study was to see if patients had better clinical outcomes if they were under the care of a special team," lead author Dr. Paul von Weitzel-Mudersbach said in a statement.

In addition to lowering stroke risk, the use of a transitional care team resulted in 95 percent of patients accomplishing at least one secondary prevention measure (reduced blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, no smoking, and self-reported adherence to antithrombotic treatment). Almost half achieved three out of the four measures.

"The combination of secondary prevention efforts with a relatively high compliance rate--including the essential telephone follow-up provided by a specially trained nurse in the first three months--was probably responsible for the low long-term risk of adverse clinical outcome," said Weitzel-Mudersbach.

With such results, transitional care is gaining traction throughout the industry as nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have found that transitional care coordination can reduce readmissions.

For more information:
- here's the press release
- read the study abstract