CENTRAL Gippsland Health was one of four hospitals in Australia awarded for excellence in stroke care and data collection at the recent Australian Stroke Clinical Registry Investigator Forum.
The awards are based on having a high composite score over eight processes of care, and excellent data quality throughout 2017.
Only nine hospitals nationally received awards, with four, including CGH, receiving the silver award.
Clinical head of unit for medicine, critical care and emergency department, Krishna Mandaleson, said he was proud to be a part of a team that worked hard to maintain a high standard of stroke care.
Dr Mandaleson said the award was a “team effort”, as he paid tribute to the contributions of Ambulance Victoria, the radiology and emergency departments, critical care unit, pharmacy, the on-call medical team, the hospital’s acute stroke coordinator and Victorian Telehealth Stroke.
Dr Mandaleson said collecting information about stroke care from hospitals and patients meant more information was available to assess the whole spectrum of care.
He said there were a range of resources available to CGH now to improve assessments and outcomes in stroke care.
The hospital uses the NIH Stroke Scale to assess all patients before considering the use of clot busting drug and clot retrieval.
“Because of the need for quick assessment and treatment, we need to have systems in place so that treatment is not delayed,” he said.
“This award shows that people can get top level care without having to travel to Melbourne.”
CGHS chief executive Frank Evans said everyone involved should feel honoured.
“This award is no mean feat,” Dr Evans said.
“Our teams have made a concerted effort to monitor, promote and improve the quality of acute stroke care and by working together, patients, families, clinicians and researchers have made a difference in the lives of people affected by stroke.”
The Australian Stroke Clinical Registry award is calculated based on eight processes of care, including discharge care plan.
Dr Mandaleson said hospitals played a large role in maintaining patients’ “persistence and motivation”, which was an important part of recovery.
Stroke patient Jean McIntyre — who is back home and living independently after suffering a debilitating stroke two and a half years ago — backed Dr Mandaleson on the quality of care at CGH.
“Oh, everyone at the hospital was so lovely,” she said.
“I think I was very fortunate to have these people take care of me.
“The doctors and the physios were lovely, and encouraged me to stay strong and keep at it.”
Ms McIntyre said her message to other stroke sufferers would be “don’t give up”.
“Work hard and don’t give in,” she urged.
The data collected by CGHS will guide quality improvement interventions in hospitals, reduce variations in care delivery and, ultimately, provide evidence of reduced deaths, disability, and recurrent stroke.