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Updates to Stroke Pathway

30-Nov-2015

A need to improve stroke care in the province has been recognized, and the RQHR is partnering with the Ministry of Health and 3 health regions to design and deliver stroke care in a more effective and efficient manner.

“We are in the beginning stages of testing the acute stroke pathway”, Tom Stewart, Manager of the Pre-Admission Clinic in the Region, and one of the project leads, “which is a chance to have front-line staff pilot new forms and processes, get feedback, and continue to make improvements”.

“What’s really exciting about this work is the goal to standardize the care patients receive in different regions throughout the province,” said Jennifer Erickson, Manager of Special projects in the Region, “while incorporating the most recent best practice. The result will be better care for patients.”

The pathway outlines the treatment patients with acute stroke symptoms would receive from the onset until treatment in hospital. “A big change we have implemented already is adding a new type of scan for stroke alert patients. A CT Angiogram helps identify basically if is there is a clot in one of the main arteries of the brain causing the stroke,” Stewart says.

Different treatment options exist for patients depending on how long they have been experiencing symptoms and where the clot is located. “A new procedure, Endovascular Therapy is now available in Saskatoon. Eligible patients are airlifted to Saskatoon where a specialized team enter the brain through a large artery and remove the clot” says Erickson. So far RQHR has sent 3 patients to Saskatoon for this procedure. “This offers patients access to a procedure which can return them to their pre-stroke level of functioning”.

Many departments have been actively partnering with this work including EMS, RGH and Pasqua ER, the departments of Neurology and Radiology, CT, Health Records, Bedline, STARS, ICUs, the Stroke Prevention Clinic, Pharmacy and Administration.

“All departments involved deserve thanks for their partnership in this work. It really is about creating a system-wide approach for managing and coordinating care for stroke patients. It all comes back to how we can provide better care for patients.”