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Overview, Methods and Knowledge Exchange

6th Edition
2016-2018 UPDATE
 

The Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations (CSBPR) are intended to provide up-to-date evidence-based guidelines for the prevention and management of stroke, and to promote optimal recovery and reintegration for people who have experienced stroke (patients, families and informal caregivers). The CSBPR are under the leadership of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canada (HSF) and involves over 200 volunteers from across Canada and internationally who have stroke expertise or who have been affected by stroke.

The target audience for these recommendations includes all healthcare providers from a range of health disciplines who are involved in the planning, delivery and monitoring of quality stroke care.

The goal of disseminating and implementing these recommendations is to promote and support evidence-based stroke care across Canada, increase capacity for stroke service delivery, reduce practice variations in the care of stroke patients, and to reduce the gap between current knowledge and clinical practice.

Why is better stroke management important?

  • Every year, approximately 62,000 people with stroke and transient ischemic attack are treated in Canadian hospitals. Moreover, it is estimated that for each symptomatic stroke, there are nine covert strokes that result in subtle changes in cognitive function and processes.
  • Stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases are the third leading cause of death in Canada.
  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability, with over 400,000 Canadians living with the effects of stroke.
  • The annual cost of stroke is approximately $3.6 billion, taking into account both healthcare costs and lost economic output.
  • The human cost of stroke is immeasurable.
  • Although there are many proven interventions for stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, they are not widely or consistently applied.

The HSF works closely with national and provincial stakeholders and partners to develop and implement a coordinated and integrated approach to stroke prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and community reintegration in every province and territory in Canada. The CSBPR provides a common set of guiding principles for stroke care delivery, and describes the infrastructure necessary at a system level, and the clinical protocols and processes that are needed to achieve and enhance integrated, high-quality, and efficient stroke services for all Canadians. Through the innovations embodied within the stroke best practices, these guidelines contribute to health system reform in Canada and internationally.

The Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations are developed and presented within a continuous improvement model and are written for health system planners, funders, administrators, and healthcare professionals, all of whom have important roles in the optimization of stroke prevention and care and who are accountable for results. A strong stroke research literature base is drawn upon to guide the optimization of stroke prevention and care delivery. Several implementation tools are provided to facilitate uptake into practice, and are used in combination with active professional development programs. By monitoring performance, the impact of adherence to best practices is assessed and results then used to direct ongoing improvement. Recent stroke quality monitoring activities have compelling results which continue to support the value of adopting evidence-based best practices in organizing and delivering stroke care in Canada.

The theme of the Sixth Edition of the CSBPR is Partnerships and Collaborations

This theme stresses the importance of integration and coordination across the healthcare system to ensure timely and seamless care of stroke patients to optimize recovery and outcomes.

Involvement of individuals who have had a stroke, their families and caregivers, is paramount to collaborations and partnerships and emphasized a patient and family-centred approach to stroke care delivery.

Working with interprofessional stroke care team members, other vascular care groups, emergency medical services, community care providers, educators, researchers, health system funders, planners and managers, will strengthen our ability to reduce risk factor prevalence, incidence, morbidity, and mortality from stroke.

Individuals who experience a stroke often present with additional health conditions or issues, which increases the challenges and complexity of comprehensive stroke management. Partnerships and collaborations with healthcare providers from a range of specialties is imperative to ensure people with multimorbidities have optimal control of each condition, do not fall through the cracks, do not receive conflicting or contra-indicated treatments, and do receive support to navigate the healthcare system.

Partnerships and collaborations are also necessary to support stroke care in rural and remote settings where some basic stroke services may not be available. People experiencing a stroke in those regions may not have access to optimal treatment strategies, which may result in poorer outcomes.

This theme aligns with and supports the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Promote Recovery mission priority and is included as part of each module for the 2016-2018 update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations.

Knowledge Exchange Activities

HSF leads regular webinars providing an opportunity to hear more about specific topics related to stroke and the guidelines. Presentations are delivered by experts to increase knowledge and uptake of new resources and updated guidelines. Webinars are recorded and archived. To access the archived recordings and list of past webinars click here.