US: Geospatial information mapping has turned out to be a very powerful tool to identify disparities in care, based on geographic factors or patient characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, age, or socioeconomic means, according to a report published in Stroke, an American Heart Association (AHA) Journal.
The report, Translating Evidence Into Practice: A Decade of Efforts by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to Reduce Death and Disability Due to Stroke, chronicles the systematic changes that were required to achieve a remarkable reduction of 25% in stroke, heart disease and cardiovascular risk since AHA/ASA committed to this goal a decade ago.
In 1998, the AHA committed to the ambitious goal of reducing coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular risk by 25% by the year 2010, and to underline their commitment to stroke reduction, they formed the ASA at that time. “In fact, that goal was met early, at the end of 2009, so that’s really an amazing accomplishment,” said, Dr. Schwamm, one of the report writers.
He said, it might appear that there are a lot of stroke centres in the Northeast US, but there is also high population density and a lot of patients in the Northeast, adding that when one looks at a map without those other key geospatial variables, he/she might think stroke care is disproportionately distributed in this country. Dr. Schwamm points out that many areas with fewer stroke centres also have very lower population density, so may be they are doing better than it first appears.
The document also acknowledges the efforts of many partner organisations, including the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Brain Attack Coalition, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, National Committee for Quality Assurance, The Joint Commission, National Quality Forum, National Stroke Association, Veterans Affairs Department, Department of Defence and the World Stroke Organisation, among others.