What does your hospital do to support stroke survivors during their recoveries?
I recently read an article about how a young boy helped save his mother's life by getting an ambulance on its way, and it made me pause and think. The piece reminded that sometimes it’s the simple things that are most important.
When someone suffers a stroke or heart attack, getting the patient to definitive treatment quickly is crucial to their survival and quality of life post-event. But, getting treatment quickly requires communication between EMS, several care teams within the hospital, and sometimes even teams from other hospitals when transfer is required.
Too often, this communication breaks down at one or many points along the way due to the outdated and non-integrated technology systems those clinicians rely on to relay their information. This antiquated technology, including phone trees, fax machines, pages, sticky notes ... (yes, really), causes critical patient information to be missed, which can contribute to treatment delays and medical errors.
1) If a technology-based communication solution could be implemented across multiple organizations;
2) Which factors are associated with clinicians’ intentions to use the technology."
To determine if Pulsara can improve management timelines for patients suspected of having a stroke or cardiac event, researchers in Australia have conducted a pilot study with a 6 month pre-post historical control design.
The researchers give the following background to the study:
To see if Pulsara could help stop the inefficient communication the teams were experiencing -- and thereby reduce associated treatment delays -- the researchers had prehospital clinicians as well as hospital users activate Pulsara for suspected stroke and STEMI cases.
What if instead of recording treatment delays in minutes, your stroke coordinator recorded them in number of brain cells lost?
Would your team still say "Oh well, it's only five minutes, that's not too bad" if the metric referred to were "Only 10 million brain cells?"
As nurses, we have an interesting challenge: We need to make sure we are doing our jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible while still making sure to carefully pay attention to and make note of every detail in the care process. This can be especially tricky when it comes to conditions like stroke where every second makes a difference.
I sometimes pick on ER physicians for hesitating to give tPA for stroke despite data that supports administering, but the responsibility isn't 100% theirs. Our nursing skills play an important part in ensuring that a patient stays within the guidelines. As hospital systems, sometimes we push a little too hard to go straight to CT, for example. In general, I think pushing to go directly to CT is a good thing ... but problems arise when we get tunnel vision and forget the little things that can make a difference down the line. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins, has a famous quote that I love: "Be quick, but don't hurry."
What if you could get inside the mind of a Stroke Program Consultant who helps hospitals and EMS systems get ready for certification (through the Joint Commission, for example)? You'd probably want to know what things she commonly sees hospitals doing wrong. What tricks does she have for making sure your facility is ready?
Shane Elmore, Pulsara's Vice President for Clinical Innovation and Development, recently sat down for an interview with Debbie Roper, RN, MSN, President and Founder of Strokes R Us. Debbie is a consultant who travels across the country and advises hospitals that are going through the stroke certification process.
You chose this career.
Why did you go into public safety? Why did you go into healthcare? Why did you choose your specialty?
There are a number of possible reasons: Money. Prestige. Honor. Love. Fear. Anger. Hope. Adrenaline. Desire. Pressure. People.
Many of us in public safety and healthcare are just wired differently — especially those of us who deal with time sensitive emergencies. Imagine a group of people witnessing an emergency - a house fire, a car crash, a mass casualty event, a cardiac arrest, a sudden collapse, a STEMI, a stroke. If you were to watch their responses, you would see three types of people:
Is your job in healthcare to focus on and serve only the patient or is it also to serve others on the TEAM who are caring for the patient?
Patient centric healthcare as we currently practice it is a failed philosophy. We focus on serving the patient for a finite moment in time even though the patient's journey extends well beyond our specific tasks.
In this mindset, we have a system where we — yes, you and I — cause 400,000 deaths per year and 10,000 serious medical complications every day, costing the U.S. an estimated one trillion dollars a year. Additionally, 80% of these errors occur secondary to miscommunication during transitions of care.
Patient centric healthcare is not enough. We need to realize that just serving the patient is not enough — we ALSO need to serve the fellow clinicians who are serving the patient. We need patient- and people-centric healthcare.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is the first hospital on the west coast to use the healthcare communication platform, Pulsara, and the first in the nation to use the company's Prehospital Alerting Package.
BOZEMAN, MT -- SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 -- Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death in the U.S., with close to 800,000 cases each year. The outcome can be devastating, and every delay in care impacts a stroke survivor’s chance at a full recovery. To minimize those delays and make emergency communication more efficient, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington, has partnered with several local EMS services to begin using the healthcare communication platform, Pulsara.
PeaceHealth Southwest is the first hospital on the west coast to use Pulsara for STEMI and stroke communications both with EMS and within the hospital, and the first in the nation to use the company's Prehospital Alerting Package for all EMS-transferred patients.