Abstract TP360: Starting a Stroke Post-Discharge Clinic on a Shoestring Budget
A hospital admission for stroke is a very stressful event and often too short for meaningful education. Stress and emotional levels are high and the stroke itself may result in cognitive challenges. Once at home, much information is forgotten and subtle cognitive and physical dysfunctions may become evident. A follow-up discharge clinic is one possible solution to improving post-discharge care, medication adherence, and lifestyle modification.
While discussing post-discharge challenges at our facility, a nurse practitioner and a speech therapist conceived the idea of a post-discharge stroke clinic. The purpose was to reinforce information taught in the hospital, detect functional disabilities that appeared once home, assure appropriate medical follow-up, and communicate that information to the Primary Care Provider. The clinic was ultimately named “Life After Stroke.”
At “Life After Stroke,” each patient is assessed for physical, occupational, speech, social, financial, and neuropsychological needs. Their logistical and financial ability to obtain follow-up medical care and medications are also evaluated. If financial challenges exist, they are referred to the charitable clinic/pharmacy in their county of residence. Medications are reviewed to assure all secondary prevention measures are addressed and there are no duplications or omissions. The need to continue the medication regimen and follow up care is strongly emphasized. Details of the visit and any referral needs are faxed to the Primary Care Provider at the completion of the visit.
The idea for the clinic was conceived shortly after a new budget year began. Therefore, funds had not been budgeted for the clinic. We had to be very creative to begin a clinic without any financial funding. Forms were developed by the work group, equipment loaned from departments, manpower was donated by some departments, and volunteers filled in the other areas. This has truly been a collaborative and interdisciplinary process with everyone focused on the best patient outcomes. Follow-up has shown an improvement in medication compliance, follow-up care, and patient/family satisfaction.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.