The CSS makes the Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care available openly and at no cost, in English and French. Publication and dissemination strategies have changed in response to user needs and feedback. In 2006, printed documents and CDs were provided to all contacts in the CSS database, to others on request, and to interested groups throughout Canada and internationally. The 2008 Update was published through the Canadian Medical Association Journal as a supplement to subscribers and posted on the CMAJ website with links to the document on the CSS website; the CSS provided a limited number of printed copies upon request.
Also on the website, patients and the general public can find A Patient’s Guide to the Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care.54The CSS created the patient’s guide in recognition of the fact that the best practice recommendations are lengthy and written primarily for a healthcare audience.
The CSS encourages provincial or territorial and regional stroke strategies to adopt the Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care in their entirety. While the process and speed of implementation will vary depending on circumstances, the vision of offering integrated, high quality, and efficient stroke services to all Canadians should be shared and supported across the country.
The CSS disseminates the Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care by:
- Posting the recommendations on the CSS website and other central guideline repository websites such as the World Stroke Organization website, the National Guidelines Clearing House, the Internet Stroke Centre, and the Canadian Medical Association website.
- Writing feature articles for publications such as the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the Canadian Stroke Network Brainwaves newsletter.
- Alerting all contacts in the CSS database of Updates and how to access them.
- Encouraging others to set up electronic links to the recommendations (e.g. Canadian Stroke Network, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, provincial stroke strategies).
- Sharing details with all the CSS working groups to ensure alignment and collaboration in dissemination.
- Engaging provincial stroke champions through presentations and discussion.
- Consulting other national guideline groups in related fields (e.g., hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes).
- Presenting at national, provincial, and regional meetings of healthcare professionals across healthcare disciplines and across the continuum of stroke care.
- Making presentations to front-line healthcare professionals at the local level and using local consensus processes to review and provide structured assessment of the enablers and barriers to guideline implementation, as well as innovative implementation strategies.
- E-mailing key stakeholders and front-line healthcare professionals working with persons with stroke and their families throughout the continuum of stroke care.
- Highlighting specific recommendations in stroke-related newsletters such as the National Stroke Nursing Council’s newsletter.
- Disseminating the recommendations at international stroke meetings through the World Stroke Organization, the Guidelines International Network, and international partners and collaborators.
The CSS encourages provincial or territorial and regional stroke strategy leaders to use these or other applicable approaches to further disseminate the recommendations and supporting tools to healthcare professionals, health system planners, decision-makers, and funders.