Outcome for stroke survivors from Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties drastically improves as a result of joint effort by Brockville General Hospital and Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital.
A person who experiences a stroke is more likely to survive, recover and return home when a specialized team provides early stroke care.
Collaboration between Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (PSFDH) and Brockville General Hospital (BGH) created a combined Acute Stroke Unit in Brockville. Together, BGH and PSFDH updated care paths and developed standard care practices and orientation programs for the combined unit.
Beginning in May 2016, people presenting with stroke to the Perth and Smiths Falls Emergency Rooms who required admission to hospital were transferred to the expanded 6-bed Acute Stroke Unit at BGH.
The Acute Stroke Unit, located on BGH’s 1 East inpatient unit includes a specialized team of doctors, nurses, therapists, a social worker and others, who work with the patient and their family to determine the next steps for recovery. Upon discharge, patients receive care within their community. An evaluation of the first year of care provided by this combined stroke unit has recently been released.
In-hospital mortality rates experienced within the first 30-days, dropped to 6.6%. Previous rates, based on the three years prior to implementation of the combined stroke unit, were 17.4% for PSFDH and 8.4% for BGH.
Through the collaboration, the Acute Stroke Unit provided care to 196 patients from across Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties between May 2016 and March 2017. This included 53 patients from PSFDH.
Other findings detailed in the report include information on care processes and the results of patient, family and provider surveys:
- Patient and family surveys were designed with input from patient advisors. The results from 73 patient surveys and 32 family surveys indicate the new processes are working well.
- Patients had no reservations about receiving care outside of their community. Family members felt well informed about the transfer of their loved one to BGH.
- Surveys of 60 health care providers believed that the new processes provided patients with timely, quality care. The collaborative nature of the project provided staff and patient advisors with the opportunity for better health care planning, implementation and joint problem solving.
A collective effort
The project has been a joint collaboration between the PSFDH and BGH teams, the Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario and the South East Local Health Integration Network.
The group includes patient advisors from both hospitals. Linda Weese from Mallorytown, and Joan Moloughney from Westport, have each survived strokes and become passionate advocates for improving the stroke survivor experience. Watch this video for their story!
The project team continues to work to ensure all health care providers are well informed on transfer processes to facilitate a positive experience for patients and families across Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties.
- “Seeing these results is incredible! Together, we have made a difference in stroke care in our community. We have saved lives! I am incredibly proud to be a part of this project. ” – Linda Weese, stroke survivor and patient advocate
- “You need to survive to recover from a stroke. Thanks to this joint-effort, more people in our communities will have that opportunity.” – Joan Moloughney, stroke survivor and patient advocate
- “The goal of the project was to ensure that the people of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties had the opportunity to receive specialized stroke unit care from an experienced team of professionals. The research told us that a stroke unit would improve outcomes for stroke patients in the area. The results surpassed our expectations. Many stroke survivors and their families have benefited. What a tremendous success by the BGH and PSFDH teams!”- Cally Martin, Regional Director, Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario
- “With expert stroke unit care, fewer people die and more people recover to a point where they’ll be able to re-engage in independent living in the community. This is a win for the whole community for sure. People can be proud of what’s happening in Brockville.” – Dr Al Jin, Medical Director, Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario and Stroke Neurologist, Queen’s University
- “This has truly been a patient-centered initiative. Thanks to the hard work and courage of these Hospital and their Boards, we have made a difference in the lives of many of our community members. This is a strong foundation to continue to build upon, and an excellent example of a regional integration which we can emulate in future initiatives. Congratulations and thank you to the teams at BGH, PSFDH and the Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario!” – Carol Ravnaas, Director of Planning and Integration; Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Sub-Region SE LHIN
- “The utilization of best practices for acute stroke care means patients from PSFDH catchment now go to BGH for the early part of their recovery. By partnering with BGH and the Regional Stroke Network there has been a significant impact on the lives of patients and families.” – Bev McFarlane, President & CEO.
- “This project has saved lives for those recovering from stroke in our area. We couldn’t be more proud of the teamwork and professionalism which our staff, and the teams at PSFDH, have shown. Through regional collaboration and a commitment to best practices, this program has been a success. Thank you to our neighbours across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark County for entrusting our people with the care of your loved ones.” – Nick Vlacholias, President and CEO, Brockville General Hospital.
About Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario:
The Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario is one of 11 regional networks established across the province to advance stroke prevention and care. Our Vision is “Fewer strokes. Better outcomes”. Our Mission is “to continuously improve stroke prevention, care, recovery, and reintegration”. The Stroke Network seeks to improve access to evidence-based stroke prevention and care in order to reduce stroke incidence, mortality and disability. Our work involves health system-change, professional education and knowledge translation.
About Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital:
The Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (the “Hospital”) is a fully accredited acute care health care organization located on two state-of-the-art sites. The hospital is situated in the heart of the Rideau Canal region and proudly provides health services to more than 44,000 people in the surrounding communities. The hospital delivers a broad range of primary and secondary services and programs such as emergency care, diagnostic imaging, obstetrics, general and specialty surgical services, dialysis as well as laboratory and infection control services.
About Brockville General Hospital
Brockville General Hospital is a community hospital, serving residents of Leeds and Grenville since 1885. We are committed to providing outstanding quality care to our patients, creating healthy people and healthy communities. Our services include acute and complex care, rehabilitation, palliative, mental health services, plus ambulatory and specialty clinics. We are leaders in restorative care/enhanced activation, post-episode cardiovascular rehabilitation, and are pioneers in community-based hospice palliative care. In collaboration with our partners, the Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario and Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, we are extending the lives of stoke survivors in our region.