KGH earns a second Stroke Distinction Award

News / General
By Peter Jeffrey

Accreditation Canada cites innovations and patient-centred focus

To stay a top performer in health care, there can be no resting on your laurels. That’s why our Stroke Program recently took part in another rigorous accreditation process to see how well we are serving our patients and their families.

Surveyors from Accreditation Canada were on site in November and followed up by awarding us our second Stroke Services Distinction award. In total, we met 98.7 per cent of the standards for acute stroke care. We also had 11 out of 11 stroke protocols in place.

“This is excellent news for our patients and families as it shows they will be treated by a program that is a top performer in Canada,” says Richard Jewitt, Program Operational Director for Medicine and Mental Health. “People all across the hospital can take great pride in this achievement.”

KGH is only one of three acute care hospitals across the country to achieve the Stroke Distinction designation so far. During their two days at Kingston General Hospital, the surveyors studied the stroke care we are delivering in all areas of the hospital, including our Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging, Critical Care, Clinical Labs, the Stroke Unit on Kidd 7, the Stroke Prevention Clinic, as well as the work of paramedics, our Switchboard, Decision Support and Health Records. The surveyors also reviewed information from our Patient Experience Advisors, community and rehabilitation partners.

In their report, the surveyors noted the team work they saw in action in all places of the hospital. “The team is interdisciplinary, cohesive and devoted to the care of the patient and family...All members of the team are patient focused and contribute to the best possible outcomes for their patients,” it says.

The report also noted the many improvements KGH has made in our stroke care since our last distinction award in 2012, including work to create new educational resources for patients and families, featuring an online iBook. It also cites our hospital’s renewed efforts to prevent falls and reduce infections.

The integration of Patient Experience Advisors in all continuous quality improvement work was also highlighted as a particular strength of our program.

“We always learn a lot when we receive our assessment as we can never be perfect,” says Jewitt. “Our next steps are to do even more on our documentation processes and patient and family education.”

Moving forward, we will need to stay focused on continuously improving our care in order to sustain our distinction status. We have to submit our performance data regularly and this status could be taken away if our standards slip.

“In receiving this award, we are reminded that the most important people in the KGH Stroke Program are the patients and their families,” says Dr. Albert Jin, Stroke Neurologist at KGH and Medical Director of the Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario. “Our program succeeds because everyone has committed to the belief that no matter what role we play in the patient’s journey, the experience of the patients and their families is the most valuable guide we have to become better.”