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|Health and Fitness|
“The importance of early recognition can’t be overstated,” says Dr. Todd Collier, a stroke neurologist at Royal Inland Hospital and Interior Health regional stroke lead. “The fact is many people who could benefit from treatment don’t access medical help quickly enough. Remember ‘FAST: Face, Arm, Speech, Time’. If the face is drooping on one side, or there is weakness in one arm, or if speech sounds slurred or strange, it is time to call 911.”
Interior Health continues to build on its success in improving treatment for stroke patients, with the (age-adjusted) rate of deaths due to stroke decreasing over the last four years. The Canadian Institute for Health Information recently ranked Royal Inland in Kamloops as the best performing hospital in B.C. in the rate of deaths caused by stroke. RIH also placed fourth for best stroke patient outcomes among larger Canadian hospitals.
Interior Health participates in the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council Stroke Collaborative. Teams at five Interior Health sites have been participating in this Collaborative since September 2011: Shuswap Lake General Hospital in Salmon Arm; Royal Inland in Kamloops, Kelowna General, Cranbrook’s East Kootenay Regional Hospital and the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail.
The Collaborative teams are working together to ensure efficient pre-hospital care, increase the rate of rapid medical interventions, further best-practice in Emergency Department stroke care, and help ensure patients at high risk for stroke receive the necessary follow-up.
“Across Interior Health the Collaborative teams have been active in making improvements at their sites. They are now looking at expanding the impact of their work to better support consistent stroke care at all of our facilities,” says Interior Health Practice Lead Lori Seeley.“We would like to recognize the collaboration and commitment of the many partners involved in helping us improve stroke care, including BC Ambulance Service and the BC Patient Safety Quality Council,” says Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree. “In addition our hospital Emergency Departments, Diagnostic Imaging, Rehabilitation Services and Community Care have all been working to improve outcomes for these patients.”
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