Implementing Telestroke in the Inpatient Setting: Identifying Factors for Success

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BACKGROUND: Inpatient telestroke programs have emerged as a solution to provide timely stroke care in underserved areas, but their successful implementation and factors influencing their effectiveness remain underexplored. This study aimed to qualitatively evaluate the perspectives of inpatient clinicians located at spoke hospitals participating in a newly established inpatient telestroke program to identify implementation barriers and facilitators. METHODS: This was a formative evaluation relying on semistructured qualitative interviews with 16 inpatient providers (physicians and nurse practitioners) at 5 spoke sites of a hub-and-spoke inpatient telestroke program. The Integrated-Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework guided data analysis, focusing on the innovation, recipients, context, and facilitation aspects of implementation. Interviews were transcribed and coded using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Fifteen themes were identified in the data and mapped to the Integrated-Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework. Themes related to the innovation (the telestroke program) included easy access to stroke specialists, the benefits of limiting patient transfers, concerns about duplicating tests, and challenges of timing inpatient telestroke visits and notes to align with discharge workflow. Themes pertaining to recipients (care team members and patients) were communication gaps between teams, concern about the supervision of inpatient telestroke advanced practice providers and challenges with nurse empowerment. With regard to the context (hospital and system factors), providers highlighted familiarity with telehealth technologies as a facilitator to implementing inpatient telestroke, yet highlighted resource limitations in smaller facilities. Facilitation (program implementation) was recognized as crucial for education, standardization, and buy-in. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding barriers and facilitators to implementation is crucial to determining where programmatic changes may need to be made to ensure the success and sustainment of inpatient telestroke services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1524
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 Wolters Kluwer Health. All rights reserved.


  • implementation science
  • inpatients
  • ischemic stroke
  • stroke
  • thrombectomy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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