Background: Stroke coordinator roles often involve quality data collection and compliance with standards to maintain certification, yet have limited clinical patient contact. Implementing a Clinical Stroke Coordinator Role, with a focus on the patient, assists with care continuity and improves the success rate of follow-up phone calls to acute ischemic stroke patients.
Purpose: To evaluate the impact of implementing a Clinical Stroke Coordinator on the percentage of successful patient follow-up phone calls to all acute ischemic stroke patients discharged from the hospital.
Methods: Our hospital, a high volume academic medical center, implemented the role of Clinical Stroke Coordinator in October 2014. The Coordinator met with each acute ischemic stroke patient prior to discharge to personalize patient education and stroke risk assessments, and to establish an appropriate contact person and phone number for discharge follow-up phone calls. All patients (or their designee) were called by the nurse Clinical Stroke Coordinator within seven days of hospital discharge to home, rehabilitation or inpatient nursing facility. The percentage of patients reached from February 2015 through July 2015 was compared to data from the preceding year, when calls were made by Unit Managers.
Results: Compared with the pre-implementation period, when the average success rate was 49% for 209 patients, implementation of the Clinical Stroke Coordinator led to an average success rate of 86% for 240 patients, most recently reaching 100% of patients discharged. Overall there was a 102% increase in successful patient discharge phone calls for this patient population (Figure).
Conclusion: The Clinical Stroke Coordinator role is essential to improved discharge phone call success rates, reaching >95% of acute stroke patients in the most recent three months. Further research is warranted into the impact of follow up phone calls on patient medication compliance and life-style modification.