Background : Literature on the effectiveness of simulation-based medical education programs for caring for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients is limited.
Objective : To improve coordination and door-to-needle (DTN) time for AIS care, we implemented a stroke simulation training program for neurology residents and nursing staff in a comprehensive stroke center.
Methods : Acute stroke simulation training was implemented for first-year neurology residents in July 2011. Simulations were standardized using trained live actors, who portrayed stroke vignettes in the presence of a board-certified vascular neurologist. A debriefing of each resident's performance followed the training. The hospital stroke registry was also used for retrospective analysis. The study population was defined as all patients treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator for AIS between October 2008 and September 2014.
Results : We identified 448 patients meeting inclusion criteria. Simulation training independently predicted reduction in DTN time by 9.64 minutes (95% confidence interval [CI] -15.28 to -4.01, P = .001) after controlling for age, night/day shift, work week versus weekend, and blood pressure at presentation (> 185/110). Systolic blood pressure higher than 185 was associated with a 14.28-minute increase in DTN time (95% CI 3.36-25.19, P = .011). Other covariates were not associated with any significant change in DTN time.
Conclusions : Integration of simulation based-medical education for AIS was associated with a 9.64-minute reduction in DTN time.