TIME IS BRAIN! Teamwork & continuous improvement are reducing disability in Quinte

In July 2019 we brought you news of a quality improvement event (called a Kaizen) at QHC that brought 50+ people together to focus efforts on reducing door to needle times. We saw representation from the Hastings Quinte Paramedic Services, Stroke Network of SE Ontario, many QHC Units as well as physician groups (including a visit by Dr. Al Jin of KHSC), health care leaders and many others.  One unique part of a Kaizen event is the observation process before and after. James Russell, QHC’s Director of Quality Improvement stated “Through dedicated observations by individuals who were not actively running the code stroke, the team was able to identify dozens of opportunities to help the front line staff. “  

The event helped us to improve a key area all staff recognized as a challenge – role clarity. One of our ICU nurse leaders, Emma Holmes, told us “I’ve noticed a huge difference in the collaboration between ER and ICU nursing since the Kaizen event.  I went to a code stroke on Monday (August 2020) and the nurse and I were discussing how much better the whole process is.  We all know our roles and work together to ensure timely care for the patient.” Although we are very proud this work helped us reduce our time by 20+ minutes it has built on a 10 year process of refining a well-oiled approach. As a team member that attends many of our Code Stroke calls, Melissa Roblin (QHC’s Stroke Resource RN) notes “I feel very fortunate to be part of QHC’s Code Stroke team, a team of people that spans multiple departments but joins together as one cohesive “pit crew”. As we look back on the event and the last 15 months of continuous improvement we realize that all of the hard work has a very important goal.”

Dr. Andrew Samis, our physician lead for stroke care at QHC, summed it up by saying “The improvement in door to needle time is so much more than I ever imagined, and the best part is that the real winners in this are the patients and their families in the Quinte, Hastings and Prince Edward region where these improvements represent less disability and longer lives after a stroke.” Thank you to all who attended the event and put in many hours of hard work to help achieve better outcomes.   For more information, please contact Derk Damron, Quinte District Stroke Coordinator, ddamron@qhc.on.ca 
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