Primary Stroke Centers Should Be Located Using Maximal Coverage Models for Optimal Access

American Heart Association: July 17, 2012.

The current self-initiated approach by which hospitals acquire Primary Stroke Center (PSC) certification provides insufficient coverage for large areas of the United States. An alternative, directed, algorithmic approach to determine near optimal locations of PSCs would be justified if it significantly improves coverage.

Methods—Using geographic location–allocation modeling techniques, we developed a universal web-based calculator for selecting near optimal PSC locations designed to maximize the population coverage in any state. We analyzed the current PSC network population coverage in Iowa and compared it with the coverage that would exist if a maximal coverage model had instead been used to place those centers. We then estimated the expected gains in population coverage if additional PSCs follow the current self-initiated model and compared it against the more efficient coverage expected by use of a maximal coverage model to select additional locations. Read More