Background and Purpose: Providers recognize the need for quick recognition and allocation of resources when ischemic stroke patients arrive at the emergency department. Hemorrhagic stroke patients have not been always given the same priority. One Comprehensive Stroke Center noticed a deficiency in timely recognition, documentation and mobilization of resources for hemorrhagic stroke patients. The initiation of “code head bleed” in the emergency department was created to correct this deficiency. The purpose of this study was to bring awareness and education to the team initially caring for the hemorrhagic stroke patient.
Methods: Using Lean methodology, to bring about quality patient care while reducing wasted time, the “code head bleed” was born. Education was provided for all emergency department staff members and physicians regarding “code head bleed.” When a code head bleed notification is paged out it mobilizes all required resources to the patient’s bedside (Faculty physician, Medical Resuscitation team, Patient Care Coordinator, Respiratory Therapy, Stroke Coordinators and Emergency Department leadership).
Results: Since its inception in May, the “code head bleed” is the most used code notification in the hospital (n=163 ), surpassing ischemic stroke alerts (n= 89 ) in the same period. An increase of traumatic hemorrhages has been noticed since they are also included in the notification; which has led to an increased awareness in this population of patients as well. Code head bleed has improved neuro-check documentation by 21 % and documentation of vasoactive drip titration by 15% in the hemorrhagic stroke population.
Conclusions: In conclusion, having all essential staff, services and resources lends to optimizing the hemorrhagic stroke patient’s care. The “code head bleed” initiative has been attributed to an increased awareness of the needs of the hemorrhagic stroke patient in the emergency department and an improvement in the documentation of care provided.