Teamwork delivers excellent results for stroke care program

During Patient Safety Awareness Week, I reflect on the many outstanding teams I’ve worked with at client sites.

Their commitment to improving quality and patient safety through collaboration often drives impressive results.Naqvi Teamwork

For example, Methodist Hospital of Southern California (Arcadia, California, U.S.A.) relied on an interdisciplinary team – including physicians, nurses, pharmacy staff, lab, therapists, informaticists and other specialties – to achieve excellence in care for stroke patients. Featured in a recent case study, the team’s efforts earned Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification and awards from the American Heart Association.

Swift and comprehensive services for stroke patients

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is a leading cause of long-term disability. For better results, it is critical that people receive treatment as quickly as possible following a stroke.

“Every minute that passes after a stroke has occurred, the likelihood of full recovery decreases,” Director of Cardiovascular Service Line and Clinical Research Alisa Rock said. “The faster we can deliver effective services to stroke patients in our community, the more people we can help return to their normal level of function. That’s the goal.”

Methodist Hospital worked to obtain Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification by meeting evidence-based guidelines for stroke treatment. Components include timely assessments, appropriate administration of medication, patient education and care planning. Technology can help facilitate many of these activities.

“Everything has to work together in the most efficient manner possible,” Chief Information Officer Gary Russell said. “We can’t have any delays or breakdown in capturing the right data elements and making them available to the right caregiver at the right time.”

Achieving exceptional outcomes

Working together as a team, Methodist Hospital has either met or exceeded national safety standards. For example, 99% to 100% of stroke patients received appropriate intervention for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), antithrombotic medication within 48 hours of hospitalization, stroke education and smoking cessation advice (see more about Methodist Hospital’s performance in stroke care measures here.)

The organization’s performance has earned it a Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from independent quality assurance agency DNV GL, as well as the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® —Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, the Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll and the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll awards in 2017 and 2018.
“This was a huge endeavor requiring a big team effort,” Rock said. “A lot of people from varied specialties came together as a team to drive quality of care for their specialties.”

Congratulations to the Methodist Hospital team for its collective efforts to improve care for patients. To learn more about how Methodist Hospital has established and maintains a focus on patient safety, read an article from the organization’s Patient Safety Officer in Patient Safety: 20 years after To Err is Human (page 14).

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