Kelowna General Hospital is improving to the way stroke patients receive care.
Following a 12-month provincial review of stroke care at hospitals across B.C. that included care providers at KGH, changes have been made.
KGH will open a relocated and centralized eight-bed stroke unit this month when all stroke patients are moved to a specific area in the hospital’s Centennial Building
Having them all together will be possible to provide more streamlined care and improved patient and family communication, says Interior Health.
“We work closely with patients and families to understand, from their perspective, the journey from the emergency department to admission to a stroke unit in real time,” said KGH health services director Andrew Hughes. “The addition of this centralized unit will have a tremendous impact on our patients experience and the stroke care continuum.”
As part of the collaboration, the team conducting the review asked families and patients to attend its meetings, join bi-weekly rounds, and share their stories and suggestions. Much of this feedback continues to guide ongoing efforts to improve stroke care.
The new unit at KGH features large private rooms with space for equipment such as walkers. Rooms are adjacent to one another and close to the central nursing station. The unit includes a gym for rehabilitation activities and is next to the KGH Clinical Teaching Unit, providing increased access to medical internists.
The location was selected based on literature reviews and the experience of other hospitals.
“A designated stroke unit supports timely provision of expert care by staff with specific training to best address patients’ needs.”
“Through evidence-based care, the impact of stroke can be significantly reduced,” said Steve Thomson, MLA Kelowna-Mission of the collaborative review. “It is great to see care providers from across the province and our local hospital come together to exchange ideas, particularly when those ideas focus on implementing best practices and engaging patients.”
“Research has found such centralized hospital stroke units improve patient outcomes, in some cases reducing the likelihood of death and disability by as much as 30 per cent,” said Norm Letnick, MLA Kelowna-Lake Country and chairman of B.C.’s Committee on Health.
In addition to the creation of a defined stroke unit, the team at KGH is implementing a number of patient engagement strategies designed to improve communication and capture ideas for future changes.