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The “Pit Crew” Approach to Endovascular Therapy for Large Vessel Strokes: A Success Story

By Brandon Means

We all know that for any complex problem, there is rarely a simple solution. Endovascular stroke, with its stroke_hands-264465-edited.pngmany moving parts, is no exception. Trying to mobilize multiple disciplines and processes simultaneously (like a pit crew does in a NASCAR race) during one of the most time-sensitive emergencies is no easy task. But, as you may remember from a previous blog post I wrote, 
parallel processing of tasks is a key element to reducing treatment times.

Recently, a team of providers was able to produce absolutely fascinating results by adopting this parallel-processing quality-improvement (QI) approach. The results (including door-to-puncture time of 2:31 prior to the QI approach, and 1:33 after process change - which translates over 100 million brain cells sparedare especially impressive during off-peak or weekend hours, when uniting a team can be even more difficult. But the care teams that are best at achieving results like those in the study share a few key habits including:

  • Establishing well-defined protocols and specific roles for each team member.
  • Effectively and consistently running parallel processes simultaneously.
  • Establishing baselines, and then specific goals for each process.
  • Constantly monitoring and running process improvement for consistent performance.

Even with all of these fantastic improvements, we still have to ask ourselves: "Where can we do better?"

Imagine utilizing the approach in the study, but instead of paging on-call teams and calling back when they don’t respond, the entire care team is activated with a simple button push.

Imagine knowing who on your team has responded, immediately.

Imagine seeing real-time data on your phone while your team is assembling.

Imagine knowing exactly where your patient is in the process, all while seeing a ticking clock that helps maintain a sense of urgency.

The possibilities are endless when you give a driven team of providers a way to clearly communicate. And when patient lives are on the line, can you really afford not to? It's time to Stop Stroke. 


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