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Quality Enhancement Research Initiative in stroke: prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Oddone E, Brass LM, Booss J, Goldstein L, Alley L, Horner R, Rosen A, Kaplan L. Quality Enhancement Research Initiative in stroke: prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. Medical care. 2000 Jun 1; 38(6 Suppl 1):I92-104.

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Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Both within and outside of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the lack of a systematic approach to stroke prevention and treatment may have contributed to reduced rates of compliance with recommended practices and increased rates of stroke. Gaps in the knowledge base inhibit a systematic approach to high-quality care within the veteran population. Initial recommendations for closing those gaps are proposed. In some cases (eg, systematic anticoagulation management), the VHA is perceived as a leader in applied research; therefore, a systematic national policy for implementing these clinics may significantly reduce stroke rates. In other areas (eg, carotid endarterectomy), databases exist that would help advance quality and outcomes, but short-term studies are necessary to establish their utility. To promote strategic improvement in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation for veterans who may be at risk or have had a stroke, specific objectives are proposed to (1) identify best practices for the effective delivery of long-term anticoagulation and enhance veterans' access to these services, (2) develop risk-adjusted models for the surgical preventive procedure carotid endarterectomy to understand facility variation in outcomes so practices can be improved, (3) define a systematic acute stroke management system so that high-quality stroke-related care can be generalizable to a variety of VHA settings, and (4) assess the impact of poststroke rehabilitation on risk adjustment and the location of outcomes so as to facilitate the implementation of best rehabilitation practices.

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