Brain Matters

Ochsner Medical Center–Northshore (Slidell, Louisiana)

CSI Summary

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CSI Presentation

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CSI Toolkit

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Added to Collection

Project Topic

Stroke awareness and detection

Hospital Unit

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

CSI Participants

Tammy Dickinson, RN
Celeste Hingle, BSN, RN
Tara Porter, BSN, RN
Kathryn Smith, RN

Project Goals/Objectives

  1. To increase the number of “Code Strokes” called and decrease the number of rapid response calls for strokes
  2. To decrease time of treatment from onset of symptoms

Project Outcomes

  1. Increased the number of Code Strokes called from zero to four
  2. Improved clinical outcomes by getting the right people to the patient and beginning stroke treatment faster through Code Strokes
  3. Observed a downward trend in average patient length of stay
  4. These outcomes resulted in an estimated annual fiscal impact of $146,250.

Project Overview

Our hospital uses a rapid response team (RRT). Calls to the RRT included calls by nurses identifying possible stroke patients. We chose this project because our hospital is applying for stroke certification and we saw an opportunity to help with the education and facilitation of a code stroke team to decrease time to treat a stroke candidate.

Our team began collecting information from the electronic chart and reports to establish baseline data. We worked closely with the hospital system’s integrated stroke team to host teaching events and share data. We also taught stroke assessment skills and introduced new stroke code verbiage at the hospital’s mandatory skills fair. Our team called this new code “Code Stroke” to differentiate it from existing codes.

Next, we held a traveling “coffee and conversation,” events where we took a coffee cart to different units. We shared our Code Stroke poster as well as guidance on how to assess for a stroke and what to do in the event you think your patient is having a stroke. Later in the project, our team traveled to different units to educate them about Code Stroke. This time, we used a poster that said “Donut forget about Code Stroke.”

Our post-education surveys found that nurses gained a better knowledge of signs and symptoms of a stroke, what steps to take next time they have a potential stroke patient and what happens when they would call a code stroke.

Permission to Reuse Materials
The materials associated with this AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy project are the property of the participating hospital noted above, not AACN. Requests to use content contained in the CSI team’s summary, presentation or toolkit should be directed to the hospital. We suggest reaching out to the hospital’s Communications, Marketing or Nursing Education department for assistance.

The AACN CSI Academy program supports change projects based on quality improvement methods. Although CSI teams seek to ensure linkage between their project and clinical/fiscal outcomes, data cannot be solely attributed to the project and are estimations of impact.