Proving the efficacy of thrombolysis in improving outcome from stroke has put time to assessment of patients at the forefront for healthcare providers when organizing stroke care. The chain of recovery begins with the patient. Efforts are being made to improve the general public's understanding of stroke. However, it appears at the moment that a greater effect in reducing the delay to initial medical assessment and treatment decision is to be gained through streamlining care as soon as 911 has been called. Emergency medical services dispatchers and technicians play a key role in recognizing that a patient is having a stroke and prioritizing the transport of the patient to an appropriate facility. Emergency departments need to have clear protocols in place to ensure that physicians can make prompt treatment decisions after having fully assessed and investigated the patient. Only with all these pieces in place is the initial phase of the chain of recovery complete, with the end result that more patients have the chance to have an improved outcome from stroke.