'Drive the doctor' for endovascular thrombectomy in a rural area: a simulation study

CONTRAST consortium, Willemijn Maas, D.J. van der Zee*, Maarten Lahr, Marc Bouma, Erik Buskens, Maarten Uyttenboogaart

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Patients who present in a primary stroke center (PSC) with ischemic stroke are usually transferred to a comprehensive stroke center (CSC) in case of a large vessel occlusion (LVO) for endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) treatment, the so-called ‘drip-and-ship’ (DS) model. The ‘drive-the-doctor’ (DD) model modifies the DS model by allowing mobile interventionalists (MIs) to transfer to an upgraded PSC acting as a thrombectomy capable stroke center (TSC), instead of transferring patients to a CSC. Using simulation we estimated time savings and impact on clinical outcome of DD in a rural region.

Methods: Data from EVT patients in northern Netherlands was prospectively collected in the MR CLEAN Registry between July 2014 - November 2017. A Monte Carlo simulation model of DS patients served as baseline model. Scenarios included regional spread of TSCs, pre-hospital patient routing to ‘the nearest PSC’ or ‘nearest TSC’, MI’s notification after LVO confirmation or earlier prehospital, and MI’s transport modalities. Primary outcomes are onset to groin puncture (OTG) and predicted probability of favorable outcome (PPFO) (mRS 0–2).

Results: Combining all scenarios OTG would be reduced by 28–58 min and PPFO would be increased by 3.4-7.1%. Best performing and acceptable scenario was a combination of 3 TSCs, prehospital patient routing based on the RACE scale, MI notification after LVO confirmation and MI’s transfer by ambulance. OTG would reduce by 48 min and PPFO would increase by 5.9%.

Conclusions: A DD model is a feasible scenario to optimize acute stroke services for EVT eligible patients in rural regions. Key design decisions in implementing the DD model for a specific region are regional spread of TSCs, patient routing strategy, and MI’s notification moment and transport modality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number778
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20-Jul-2023

Keywords

  • Endovascular thrombectomy
  • Drive the doctor model
  • Simulation modeling

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