The August issue of the EMS World Magazine features a photo of three key players who are leading the transformation of stroke care, particularly with regards to Large Vessel Occlusions (LVO). This transformation is crucial to improve patient outcomes by getting stroke patients the treatment they need in as little time as possible - especially since 2 million brain cells die each minute a patient is having a stroke. Part of this effort includes establishing regional systems of care, which help first responders and other members of the care team decide which facility a patient should go to for the best treatment; currently many patients are initially brought to hospitals that are not equipped to deliver the level of stroke care needed and must then be transferred. In fact, according to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, 80% of serious medical errors involve miscommunication between caregivers when patients are being transferred.
Page 20 of the August issue features the story of Memorial Healthcare System and how three medical leaders, Dr. Mehta (a neurointerventional surgeon), Dr. Antevy (a pediatric emergency physician and EMS Medical Director), and Fire Chief Mark Ellis, have used technology and collaboration among their teams to advance and improve stroke care. The article states that after analyzing and addressing the sources of delay in Memorial's stroke care processes, as well as building rapport within the hospital and EMS systems, the team implemented Pulsara as a step to further improve care coordination and to help uncover any areas of weakness in care processes.
In addition to stressing the value of Pulsara in uncovering areas where stroke teams need to make improvements, the article focuses on two particularly impactful changes Pulsara has facilitated at Memorial, including:
- Allowing EMS to activate a stroke case from the field, which speeds the care process by initiating the stroke response among EMS, ER, radiology, neurology and the neurointerventionalist simultaneously, rather than in a step-wise fashion.
- Enabling a system for real-time feedback by instantly connecting all teams involved in the care processes to increase accountability and transparency.
After implementing Pulsara and improving collaboration within all of Memorial's stroke care teams, the system has seen drastic improvements in their stroke system, reducing their door-to-cath times to an average of just 51 minutes from their previous average time of 184 minutes. As the article states, these improvements have earned both of Memorial Healthcare's comprehensive stroke centers the Target: Stroke “Elite Plus” designation, the highest level of recognition given by the American Stroke Association.