The primary objective is to use a survey of hospitals in Ontario and data available from the Ontario Stroke Audit (OSA) to identify which specific characteristics of Ontario Stroke Units (SUs) appear to be (cost-) effective and are associated with improved patient outcomes, in comparison to non-specialized general medical wards (GWs).
The research questions to be investigated comparing acute stroke care received at SUs to care received in GWs (i.e. care not received at SUs) include:
- What are the characteristics of SUs in Ontario (i.e. frequently occurring, common characteristics)?
- Are SUs effective, as currently structured in Ontario?
- Are SUs cost-effective, as currently implemented in Ontario (i.e. what are the resources used and associated costs)?
- Which SU characteristics are associated with improved patient- and system-level outcomes?