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Implementation Research Network in Stroke Care Quality: A Success Story of European Collaboration

Under the leadership of Prof. Robert Mikulik (CZ) and Prof. Natan Bornstein (IL), the Implementation Research Network in Stroke Care Quality (IRENE COST Action) has markedly enhanced stroke care quality monitoring Europe over the past 4.5 years.

Central to the IRENE COST Action was the development of a strategy for measuring stroke care quality. The effort bore fruit, leading Eastern European countries to establish their individual national strategies in stroke care quality measurement.

Beyond its tangible outputs, IRENE was also instrumental in forming an international network comprising over 188 experts from 30 European and neighbouring countries. This network became a hub for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and innovation in the field of stroke care monitoring and improving.

Leveraging the strength of unity, IRENE effectively collaborated with various global entities, such as European Stroke Organisation or ANGELS Initiative, and supported implementation of the Stroke Action Plan in Europe. This collaborative spirit echoed through the four major annual meetings held in Moldova, Armenia, the Czech Republic, and Croatia, all of which centred on the betterment of stroke care quality.

Additionally, IRENE undertook 23 scientific missions, nurturing young researchers, particularly from Eastern Europe. These missions were instrumental in imparting new skills and methodologies in stroke treatment and fostering collaborations across European institutions. Recognizing the outstanding contributions of researchers, eight individuals from countries like Poland, Czechia, Croatia, Estonia, and Greece were granted the opportunity to present their research at international forums.

Education and skills development were cornerstones of the IRENE initiative. Numerous training programs were rolled out, touching upon key topics such as science communication, data visualization in healthcare, and practical skills like dysphagia screening. Emphasizing the importance of rehabilitation, several initiatives were steered towards improving post-stroke care, especially in regions where such practices were nascent.

While the formal duration of the IRENE COST Action might have concluded, the spirit and drive for excellence in stroke care monitoring and improving live on, promising a brighter future for the field across Europe.

The Implementation Research Network in Stroke Care Quality – IRENE, No. CA18118 has been supported by COST European Cooperation in Science and Technology.

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