State Stroke Program The North Dakota Department of Health seeks to improve stroke patients’ care and outcomes.
“ ” Hospitals that participate have learned about the quality of care they are giving to stroke patients and are using what they have learned to focus on care improvement.
From Hettinger to Hillsboro, Tioga to Turtle Lake, North Dakotans deserve the highest quality of care wherever they are. With a highly rural and older population, it is imperative that health care providers work together like a well-oiled machine. This is especially true when time is a factor, such as when someone is experiencing symptoms of a stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, when a stroke occurs, most of the time patients must reach a hospital within three hours after symptoms begin in order to maximize the available treatment interventions. In rural North Dakota, an emergency room within a critical access hospital may likely be where patients will first seek care if they experience symptoms of a stroke. With the realization of the need to maintain or improve the care stroke victims in North Dakota receive, the State Stroke Program was created through the 2009 Legislature when the North Dakota Department of Health received appropriated funds to begin a
NORTH DAKOTA MEDICINE Spring 2012
By Kristine Henke
state stroke program. Susan Mormann, strategy specialist for the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at the Department of Health said, “The main purpose of the program is to improve the level of care to enhance patient outcomes and save lives.” The goal of the State Stroke Program is to reduce stroke morbidity and mortality caused by stroke through implementing the American Heart Association’s “Get with the Guidelines—Stroke” program in every hospital in the state. Get with the Guidelines—Stroke is designed to improve or maintain how health care facilities adhere to evidence-based care of patients hospitalized because of a stroke. According to a fact sheet from the American Heart Association, the program provides hospitals with a Webbased Patient Management Tool that provides decision support, a robust registry, real-time benchmarking capabilities, and other performanceimprovement methods to enhance patient outcomes and save lives.
North Dakota Medicine Spring 2012