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Press Release: 10 years and 100,000 volunteers: Improving Australian Stroke Care

Wednesday 22, Jul 2020

MELBOURNE, Australia – The Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) is a decade-long, national effort to deliver best practice care for people experiencing stroke. AuSCR recently marked dual milestones, celebrating 10 years of operation and 100,000 recorded cases of stroke care.

AuSCR collects essential information on care given to someone who has experienced stroke or transient ischemic attack (‘mini stroke’), covering their journey from first presentation to hospital through to health outcomes 3-6 months down track.
Real-time monitoring enables individual hospitals to identify and fix ‘gaps’ in treatment processes for patients with stroke, as well as benchmark how their care and patient outcomes compare to other hospitals around Australia at any given time.
Custodian of the registry, Professor Dominique Cadilhac from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, says the evidence is clear that initiatives like AuSCR work.

“We know that providing the best standard of care to patients hospitalised after stroke can lead to better outcomes, such as decreasing disability, preventable deaths and risk of recurrent stroke in the longer term.”
“We continuously see improved stroke care in hospitals that take insights from the registry and implement quality improvements.” 
74 Australian hospitals actively use the registry. 

Two episodes of stroke – only months apart in 2019 – were captured on the registry for Rosanna resident, Tim McCartin. The former high school principal considers himself very lucky to have since made a full recovery and is an advocator of research initiatives, such as the registry, that aim to improve care for people who have experienced stroke.
"During my time in hospital and rehabilitation I saw firsthand how devastating stroke can be for a lot of people and their families," said Mr McCartin.

"When I learnt of the registry from a stroke nurses in hospital, I thought why not use my experience to be a part of something that can help other people who have had a stroke,” he explained. 
Melbourne neurologist and Clinical Lead for the Victorian Stroke Clinical Network, Professor Peter Hand, also commented on the milestone.

“What we have been able to achieve for patients with stroke and their families over the past ten years has been momentous.”
“The registry has been a pivotal tool in directing where state government initiatives can focus to improve stroke care and policy, with the ultimate goal to achieve the best possible stroke treatments for all Victorians,” he said. 

In addition to informing clinical care standards, data is also used in vital stroke care research including the Florey Institute’s work into understanding risk factors for stroke, effect of exercise on recovery post-stroke and other studies. 
AuSCR was established by a consortium of four groups; The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The George Institute, The Stroke Foundation and Stroke Society of Australasia.

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Interview/photography opportunity:
Who: Stroke survivor, Tim McCartin and Lead Investigator Professor Dominique Cadilhac, Head of the Public Health Group, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
When: Flexible 
Where: Interviews via phone, photo opportunity at Tim’s house (Rosanna) and the Florey  Heidelberg campus.  
Contact to arrange: Claire Smoorenburg, Media and Communications Manager, Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health 
M: +61 438 090 208 E: claire.smoorenburg@florey.edu.au    

About The Florey Institute
 
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health is a medical research institute specialising in the brain and mind. We are the largest brain research group in the southern hemisphere and in the top 10 of the world’s best brain research centres. Every year, 4.7 million Australians are diagnosed with one of the conditions that we study. To learn more about the Florey’s research, visit www.florey.edu.au. 
 
Should you wish to re-share the story directly from the Florey’s website or re-share our Tweet with SSA’s own messaging you’re also welcome to do that.