Finally, I bring you another story about how rapid recognition and treatment of acute emergency conditions is being missed in many hospitals. The most recent study on the subject comes from the May 4 issue of JAMA Neurology. Researchers found that hospital patients admitted for another problem were slow to have their strokes recognized and treated when compared to patients with strokes out of the hospital.
Difference in Stroke Care Took Hours
I reported a few months ago on similar findings regarding chest pain and STEMI recognition and treatment for patients not in the hospital for cardiac problems. The authors of the research suggest that all hospitals need a standardized algorithm for diagnosing and rapidly treating strokes in patients already inside the doors.
The researchers used the Ontario Stroke Registry to look at TIA or stroke patients in the designated stroke centers in the province. This was in stroke centers, folks! Now stroke centers are designated primarily for their interaction with EMS and prehospital stroke patients but they should have some capacity for recognition and management of new onset of stroke inside their walls, too.
Stroke Code Teams For Hospitals
The recommendation is for hospitals to implement code stroke teams to rapidly recognize stroke patients and rush them for appropriate imaging and treatment as quickly as possible. How bad was the difference in diagnosis and treatment? In-hospital stroke patients waited an average of 4.5 hours for neuroimaging to verify stroke while the time frame for community based stroke patients was just 1.2 hours. When every second counts, that is an alarming time difference!
What is your facility doing to rapidly recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke and rush those patients to CT to get a firm diagnosis and treatment or surgery started? This is a perfect example of a program that can be championed by a nurse in a facility and moved forward to improve patient outcomes.
If you do something to change this, make sure you let me know and I’ll give you a shoutout here on the Nursing Show!
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Following Your Nurse Passion and Nursing Show Episode 345.