Staff from over 140 U.S. hospitals that treated 50,000 stroke victims from 2009 to 2010 were surveyed in the study, as mentioned by Tech Times. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. According to a report from Reuters, the study illuminated the actual time it took for stroke patients to receive this treatment designed to help minimize damage. There were significant differences to be noticed in staff perception and reality.

It is an essential factor whether hospitals have overestimated their performance in providing appropriate treatment to the number of stroke patients treated at a hospital.

A new research has revealed that hospitals routinely overestimate their door-to-needle performance as well as their ability to deliver tissue plasminogen activation (tPA) to stroke patients on time. While there are certainly many other factors that contribute to the outcome of a stroke, administering quick and effective treatment is absolutely crucial.

The team surveyed staff from 141 hospitals in the US.

Hospital performance was based on “door-to-needle” time, which is how quickly the drug is administered from the time the patient arrives at the hospital.

Forty-two percent of middle-performing hospitals and 85 percent of low-performing hospitals overestimated their abilities to quickly administer tPA. It should be given to ischemic stroke patients within 60 minutes of their arrival at the hospital, as reported by guidelines.

“We are pleased to recognize Strong Memorial Hospital for their commitment to stroke care”, said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Hospitals that overestimated their performance had lower volumes of tPA administration.

Other hospital characteristics, such as facility size, Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center status, academic affiliation, geographic region, and hospital location (rural versus urban) were not found to be associated with accuracy of performance perception.

“Institutions at any performance level could benefit from making protocol changes that would better align performance with perception”, study lead author Dr. Cheryl Lin, a former researcher at Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., said in a prepared statement.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality supported the study.

Stroke is now the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, claiming a life once every four minutes. One co-authors disclosed relevant relationships with Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis and Merck-Schering Plough.