Abstract W P340: Emergency Department Nurses Collaborate With Long Term Care Facilities for Stroke Patients
Background and Purpose: Stroke treatment is often delayed before patients reach the emergency department (ED). Some patients arrive in time to receive medication that can reverse new stroke symptoms. Some are not as fortunate. They are either admitted to the palliative unit, or discharged only to live with their new disabilities possibly for the rest of their lives.
In 2013, nurses observed many long term care (LTC) patients were not getting to the ED in time to receive tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), a medication used to reverse stroke symptoms. The purpose of this process improvement was to increase the number of LTC patients with stroke symptoms arriving in the ED within the tPA window.
Methods: To determine how many patients from nursing homes were missing the tPA window, data from the ED’s records was abstracted from the month of June 2013. The sample size was all patients who presented with possible stroke symptoms, and who were also from LTC facilities. Surprisingly, 100% of LTC patients presenting with stroke symptoms missed the tPA window. With the support of ED leadership, we decided to raise awareness about the tPA window in the LTC facilities. No evidence existed from ED’s related to LTC patients and the tPA window. Approximately 1,000 unused stroke pamphlets were collected. A PowerPoint presentation based on AHA guidelines was used. A lecture occurred at the community’s senior services meeting, and many LTC administrators were willing to adopt this education initiative at their facilities. ED staff became involved and helped conduct the in-services. In exchange for their volunteering, they received credit to help with career ladders at their hospital.
Results: The number of possible stroke patients from LTC facilities getting to the ED within eight hours of the last time seen normal (LTSN) has increased from 0% in June 2013, to 25% in March 2014.
Conclusions: Stroke education teams of ED nurses showed improvement in LTC patients arriving in the ED within the tPA window. In conclusion, it is encouraged that other ED staff volunteer to teach in LTC facilities in their own communities, in assisting their stroke patients as well.
Author Disclosures: J.L. Strom: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.