DOI: 10.1161/str.55.suppl_1.tp47 ISSN: 0039-2499

Abstract TP47: When Folks Stroke at a Freestand: Building Successful Stroke Workflows for Freestanding Emergency Departments

Amanda Werner, Kory Scheideman
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neurology (clinical)

Background: Services offered at freestanding emergency departments (FSED) vary and often have inconsistent clinical education and workflow standardization. Delivery of clinical education and implementation of hospital-based emergency department (ED) workflows to FSEDs contributes to a successful system of care. All sites in a mostly rural region are held to PSC standards with 24/7 ED physician coverage from a local, contracted group. All sites have 24/7 neurology provider coverage from an internal Neurohospitalist group that responds to stroke alerts in person or via telestroke. Nursing, radiology, and pharmacy leadership across the region participate in regional stroke and quality committees.

Methods: Clinical education for FSED staff aligns with hospital-based EDs but includes competencies related to lack of ancillary services at the FSEDs. NIHSS certification is required and renewed every two years. Quarterly stroke education posters team are at all sites and new hire training is standardized. Availability of thrombolytics is maintained by pharmacy even though they are not on site at FSEDs. Volume and accuracy of 2022 stroke alert activations were reviewed as were door to CT first slice times, total thrombolytic cases, and median D2N times. FSED data was compared to local hospital-based ED outcomes and national stroke standards.

Results: There were 27 total FSED stroke alert activations in 2022; 13 had a final coded stroke diagnosis. This 48% accuracy rate is above the range of 35-40% across the region’s hospital-based EDs and meets national standards for alert accuracy. Median door to CT time was 20 minutes and is among the best for the region though slightly longer than national standards. There were 5 FSED thrombolytic cases with a median D2N time of 55 minutes—below the 60-minute national recommendation for treatment time.

Conclusion: Providing clinical education and standardizing workflows in the FSEDs resulted in stroke metrics aligning with (or exceeding) regional and national standards. leading to a positive impact patient care when stroke patients present for emergent evaluation and treatment at a FSED.

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