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Challenges of delivering evidence-based stroke services for rural areas in Australia
Objective: The aim of this paper was to use current stroke care guidelines to identify and discuss current stroke care challenges in rural Australian health care and potential solutions for delivery of evidence‐based practice.
Design and setting: A review of national guidelines since 2002 for organised stroke care was undertaken to determine best practice for delivering primary stroke care. We then employed a narrative literature review strategy looking at relevant articles, based on keywords, outlining current stroke service availability in Australia, highlighting the challenges of implementing evidence‐based stroke care in rural areas in Australia based on the current guidelines.
Results: Delivery of evidence‐based stroke care in rural Australia is fraught with challenges. Although national best‐practice guidelines for stroke care are well established, the recommendations made in these guidelines do not always reflect the resource availability in rural Australia. Redesigning processes and utilising available resources, such as telemedicine or local clinical pathways, can achieve an evidence‐ based standard; however, ultimately better resourcing of these areas is required.
Conclusion: Evidence‐based stroke care, aligned with current national standards is the key to providing adequate stroke services in rural Australia. Improved health service resourcing and better utilisation of currently available resources are options for achieving elements of evidence‐based stroke care. Implications for public health: Availability of adequate services for stroke patients directly impacts public health as it determines health outcomes for these patients. Indirect implications for public health include the effects on health professionals and the general public.
Publication titleAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publicationAustralia
Rights statementCopyright 2020 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.