Abstract NS8: The Effects of Introducing a Nurse Practitioner Stroke Champion into the Emergency Department
Background and Purpose: Emergency Department (ED) physicians often manage acute stroke patients without Neurology support at the bedside. Without guidance, they are left to rapidly assess, diagnose and treat acute stroke patients with minimal follow up on treatment effectiveness and patient outcomes. We hypothesized that introducing a Nurse Practitioner (NP) as Stroke Champion into an ED that did not have access to in-house Neurology would drive awareness of acute stroke care, and positively change practice to decrease door to needle times.
Methods: The NP started in the 24-bed ED in June 2012. The average daily census of the ED for 2012 was 135 patients per day, and from January to June 2012, ED physicians initiated 46 stroke codes. Although Neurologists were available via telephone, ED physicians were left to accurately assess and initiate stroke codes, determine eligibility, and order IV tPA. In collaboration with the Stroke Medical Director, the Stroke NP conducted multiple education sessions regarding timing metrics in acute stroke care and door to tPA goals with ED clinicians, radiology, lab and pharmacy departments. Data was shared with stakeholders monthly to drive performance improvement initiatives.
Results: Rapid improvements were made in all metrics. Mean time to CT first image improved by 19.3 minutes (37.3 to 18.0 minutes) in 6 months, and to 14.7 minutes in 1 year. CT result mean turn-around-time decreased by 19 minutes (from 54.0 to 29.1 minutes) in the first 6 months, and by 22.6 minutes (from 54.0 to 26.0 minutes) at 12 months. Likewise, laboratory result turn-around-times dramatically decreased by a mean of 15.9 minutes (54.4 to 38.5 minutes) over 6 months, and by a mean of 23 minutes (54.4 to 31.0 minutes) within 12 months. IV tPA treatment rates increased from 5% to 14.4% of all ischemic strokes. Door to IV tPA treatment times decreased by a mean of 33.9 minutes (104.5 to 70.6 minutes) in 6 months, and by 46.8 minutes (from 104.5 to 57.7 minutes) within the year.
Conclusions: Introducing an NP into the ED to serve as Stroke Champion can provide added support to improve care of acute stroke patients by expediting assessment and treatment.
Author Disclosures: L. Olson-Mack: None. J. Reardon: None. E. Hedden: None. R. Carino: None. C. VanWyk: None. P. Letzkus: None. K. Clarkson-Afshar: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.