Background and Issues: Comprehensive Stroke Centers are in high demand and bed availability can be limited. Oftentimes, patients are admitted to non-neuro intensive care units while waiting for a Neuro ICU bed to become available. Key stroke performance indicators, such as an initial NIH Stroke Scale assessment and bedside nursing dysphagia screen, are often missed in these instances.
Purpose: The purpose of this performance improvement project was to improve compliance of the key stroke performance indicators on patients admitted with stroke in the facility, specifically those who were admitted to non-neuro units.
Methods: A Stroke Response Nurse project was developed by the Neuro ICU to help improve the compliance of these key stroke performance indicators when patients were admitted to one of the other four intensive care units in the hospital. This performance improvement project involved a pilot period of three months, which was compared to the three months prior to implementing the Stroke Response Nurse project. The project was established using the Plan, Do, Check, Act model.
Results: The Stroke Response Nurse responded to 22% of the stroke patients that were admitted to non-Neuro ICUs. Out of these patients, all showed 100% compliance with the indictors of an initial NIH Stroke Scale assessment and bedside nursing dysphagia screen. The pilot period was repeated for another 51 days, in which the Stroke Response Nurse responded to 75% of these stroke patients.
Conclusions: The Stroke Response Nurse project improved the compliance of key stroke performance indicators for the patients that were seen. More training is needed among the non- Neuro intensive care units in this facility to increase the number of patients that are seen to 100%.