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Quinte Health setting sights on national Stroke Distinction

Quinte Health is taking an extra step towards stroke excellence. We have applied to Accreditation Canada’s Stroke Distinction Program!

The Stroke Distinction Program is a rigorous assessment program that recognizes organizations that strive for both clinical excellence and commitment to evidence-informed practices of stroke care. The program integrates best practice recommendations developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“Striving to achieve Stroke Distinction status is an ambitious but natural progression for Quinte Health,” said Isobel Manzer, District Stroke Coordinator. “We continue to improve the stroke care we provide at Quinte Health – whether it’s through the 2018-2019 creation of an Integrated Stroke and Rehabilitation Unit where patients receive both acute care and rehabilitation on one unit, or through our greatly improved and very important “door-to-needle times” for patients who can be treated with Alteplase tPA. There are many great initiatives happening in our stroke program and Stroke Distinction status allows us to highlight all of our hard work, while also continuing to improve patient outcomes. I’m excited to be working with an exemplary team as they strive for Stroke Distinction status.”

What’s involved?

The Stroke Distinction Program includes five components: 161 best practice standards; 18 key quality indicators (the required metrics); 20 clinical protocols (procedures and/or and order sets); patient and family education; and an innovative project. For Quinte Health, the innovative project will be “Using QI Processes to Improve Stroke Door-to-Needle Times”, carried out in 2019.

Stroke Distinction covers the full stroke care continuum – from EMS services, prevention and secondary prevention services, hyperacute, acute, rehab and linkage to community. It sets out a quality improvement framework based on the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Guidelines, and involves an on-site survey every four years. Quinte Health will have its first acute and rehab survey on May 29-30, 2023.

What are the benefits?

Stroke Distinction is a driver for quality improvement. And as the teams strive to make care better for patients and families, it naturally improves the way they work together.

“Stroke Distinction is about recognizing the hard work that the frontline teams do to create great outcomes for patients,” said Melissa Roblin, Stroke Resource Nurse, Quinte Health.  “It’s also about acknowledging that we really do, and should, stand out as leaders in stroke care.”

Who’s involved?

Stroke Distinction preparation is very detailed and requires involvement from multiple content experts and stroke leaders at Quinte Health. Over the coming months, the core Stroke Distinction team will draw on the expertise of individuals and teams across the continuum of care as they prepare to showcase the excellent work that Quinte Health is doing to provide leading stroke care even in these most challenging of times in health care.

“Our Stroke Program started in 2005 and has progressed in scope, year by year,” said Dr. Andrew Samis, Quinte Health Physician Stroke Champion. “Stroke Distinction will tie everything together, and allow us to ensure we carry out best practices across all spheres of our stroke care.  We already know we do stroke care exceptionally well, such as having the fastest door-to-needle time and fasted door-in-door-out time of the 18 Telestroke sites in Ontario, but working towards Stroke Distinction is the next logical step to taking our stroke program to the next level.”

Over the next several months, Quinte Health News will highlight the excellent work being done in the different areas of the stroke continuum as we head toward the Stroke Distinction on-site survey in May. Stay tuned!

Members of the Integrated Stroke and Rehabilitation Unit on Sills 3 at BGH.

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