Text Messaging Reduces Stroke Diagnosis Time by 21 Minutes

3-27-2013 9-15-59 PM

A text message-based clinical communication system implemented in an emergency department was used to measure response time improvements on patients seen with acute ischemic stroke.

After implementing the text message system, the time between arrival at the emergency department and time of administration of the lifesaving drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) dropped by more than 20 minutes.

Stroke treatment guidelines call for tPA to be administered less than 60 minutes after arrival at the hospital, but many facilities struggle to meet this threshold because of delays in attaining an accurate diagnosis.

Text messaging was not only responsible for dropping the time to treatment by 20 minutes, it was also responsible for increasing the percent of patients to receive treatment within the target 60-minute window from 16 percent to 50 percent.

The text message system was benchmarked against performance attained by using a traditional paging system.

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