The Vision for the Ontario Stroke System is: Fewer strokes. Better outcomes.
The Mission of the Ontario Stroke System is: To continuously improve stroke prevention, care, recovery and re-integration
The Values are:
Our activities will be aligned with the health interests of all Ontarians and in doing so will improve access to the care continuum and respect the diversity of the population we serve.
We will demonstrate accountability and integrity in all of our activities and in the use and management of public resources.
We will foster and demonstrate a culture of responsive, interactive, open and respectful communication and collaboration.
Improvement We will contribute to and apply evidence and knowledge, advance new ideas and take action to cintinuously improve the stroke system.
We will look to the future, embrace change and innovation, challenge the status quo, grow more leaders and through partnership build capacity.
In each of the four planning areas in Southeastern Ontario, local teams have assessed their practice against the Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care and developed biennial workplans that outline the actions to be taken in the coming year to achieve best practice. Each of the four local workplans is developed by local stakeholders in conjunction with the Regional Stroke Network Team and provides specific direction for local health professionals in each geographic area. The Regional Stroke Network Team develops a regional workplan that supports the direction of the local area plans. The Regional Stroke Steering Committee and its subcommittees oversee the implementation of these plans.
Support for the implementation of a systems-wide Stroke Network is made possible due to a funded infrastructure and an education budget. The funded infrastructure includes the program staff who work with those providing stroke care throughout the region to help meet their local care-delivery needs. The education budget enables the program to provide educational opportunities such as workshops to help address best-practice educational needs. This funded education program provides an incentive to build interest and to develop champions in stroke care.
The Stroke Network planning and educational activities have engaged people working across the continuum of stroke care: primary care providers, emergency and acute care staff and rehabilitation, community and long-term-care personnel.
The Regional Acute Stroke Protocol was developed in 1999 as an organized system response to provide equitable access to time-dependent stroke therapies (rtPA) for residents of Southeastern Ontario. It was the first regional response system for stroke in Canada. When a patient with symptoms of stroke dials 911, paramedics are dispatched as a priority Code 4 ("Lights and Sirens"). If pre-defined criteria are met, paramedics are authorized to bypass the closest hospital and redirect the patient to the Stroke Centre for assessment and, if appropriate, treatment with rtPA.
Once a patient has been assessed and treated at the Stroke Centre, he or she is repatriated to the appropriate community hospital. This process required the development of regional repatriation agreements between the Stroke Centres and the other acute hospitals of the region.
The development, implementation and ongoing management of the Acute Stroke Protocol has involved partnerships with many key organizations across Southeastern Ontario. These include: the Kingston Central Ambulance Communications Centre (dispatch), the Regional Paramedic Program of Eastern Ontario (for paramedic training), all ambulance services and hospital sites across the region, the Regional Stroke Centre (KGH) and District Stroke Centre (QHC-Belleville). For information on the Stroke Protocol Processes (inclusion/exclusion criteria, repatriation) please contact the Regional Stroke Office at 613-549-6666 ext 3562. Please see "Emergency Stroke Care: How are we doing?" for a current update.
A person who experiences a stroke is more likely to survive, recover and return home when early stroke care is provided by a specialized team in an Acute Stroke Unit. Acute Stroke Care across Southeastern Ontario has been consolidated to three Stroke Units in Belleville for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, Kingston for Kingston, Frotenanc, Lennox & Addington Counties, Brockville for Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties.
As part of its mandate, the Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario facilitates system change to improve timely access to the appropriate intensity of rehabilitation services. The Southeast Stroke Network supports the implementation of best practices in stroke rehabilitation through a holistic, cross-continuum approach. Key foci include advancing a common approach to initial triage, practice standards, standardized referral processes, and access to timely assessment and rehab intervention. Regional rehabilitation objectives include building strong links to primary and secondary prevention programs and dissemination of stroke best practices through ongoing professional education, building capacity in stroke expertise and supporting interprofessional collaboration.
Timely, Enhanced Community-Based CCAC Rehabilitation Services ("Discharge Link") have been provided to stroke survivors in Southeastern Ontario since February 2009 with the launch of an innovative LHIN-funded service. In April 2011, recognizing the critical role this enhanced service plays in both improving stroke survivors' functional outcomes and health system utilization as evidenced by reduced lengths of stay, the LHIN committed to supporting the service as a regional standard of service in support of best practice in stroke care.
Community Support Services and Long Term Care Homes are supported in the implementation and sustaining of best practice stroke care through resources, educational supports and regional learning collaboratives. Community Stroke Survivor and Caregiver Support Groups and Community-Based Stroke Specific Exercise Programs are available in Perth, Brockville, Kingston and Belleville.