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Sharing QHC’s stroke improvement efforts with hospitals across Ontario

QHC’s Race Car Pit Stop model for stroke care has garnered attention from many stroke centres in Ontario and even across Canada. Dr. Andrew Samis, QHC Physician Stroke Champion, and Melissa Roblin, QHC Stroke Resource Nurse, were recently asked to share this model at yet another telestroke centre – this time at Bluewater Health in Sarnia, Ontario

So what is the Race Car Pit Stop model?  It involves the patient staying on the paramedic stretcher until they are assessed by the stroke team and have their CT scan, rather than being transferred to a hospital stretcher. This shaves several valuable minutes off the door-to-needle time, which is the time from patient arrival to the delivery of tPA (the clot busting medicine).  

QHC’s Acute Stroke Team has dubbed this unique process the Race Car Pit Stop model because, upon arrival to the Emergency Department, the patient is descended upon by a pit crew of staff and physicians, each doing different jobs but working together. Concurrent activity of everyone on the stroke team allows for quick accomplishment of tasks.

“We were happy to speak at Bluewater Health about our Race Car Pit Stop model as well as other improvements we’ve made since our Kaizen improvement event in July,” said Dr. Samis. “We’ve spent many hours determining what our challenges are and how to achieve our fastest door-to-needle time. It is exciting to engage with another centre that is similar in size to us because many of the things we do could potentially work for them as well.”

Over the past few years, the Race Car Pit Stop model of care has been adopted by multiple stroke centres because it truly does save time, leading to better outcomes for patients.

“We’ve engaged with and influenced practice in Pembroke, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Oshawa, Kingston and more,” said Dr. Samis.  “It feels good to have a positive impact on patient care in other stroke centres from our little perch here in Belleville.”


Dr. Andrew Samis (third from right) presented QHC's Race Car Pit Stop model
for stroke care at Bluewater Health in Sarnia.