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Angels Initiative empowering community to be stroke-ready

Released at: 09:09, 16/10/2019

Angels Initiative empowering community to be stroke-ready

Photo: Angel Initiative

Healthcare program seeing rising number of hospitals providing high-quality stroke care.

by Khanh Chi

Angels Initiative, a healthcare program that aims to improve care for people who have suffered a stroke, has announced its accomplishments in its two and a half years in Vietnam.

Launched in Vietnam in March 2017 with technical support from the Ho Chi Minh City Stroke Society, it has focused on increasing the number of hospitals with personnel trained in providing high-quality stroke care. The initiative provides hospitals with the resources and the support they need as well as the necessary training for doctors and staff.

In Vietnam, Angels Initiative has been working with leading local societies and hospitals such as the Vietnam Stroke Association and the Ho Chi Minh City Stroke Association, with substantial support from the Vietnamese Society of Emergency Medicine and the Ministry of Health, to help increase the number of stroke-ready hospitals.

The number of hospitals with capable stroke units has increased dramatically, from 44 in 2017 to 72 in 2019. Collectively, they have delivered the appropriate standard of care to nearly 6,500 patients.

Standardized checklists for ready-use by stroke teams were localized with relevant details for paramedics, emergency nurses, stroke physicians, and stroke nurses. Seventy-three standardized stroke bags have been delivered to hospitals to enable their respective stroke teams to treat patients in their CT rooms. Four Steering Committee meetings, six preceptorship meetings, 45 dummy patient simulations, and 300 in-hospital training sessions have been held.

These results were reported at the latest Asia Pacific Stroke Conference (APSC) 2019, held in Manila recently with the participation of leading stroke experts in Asia-Pacific. The conference discussed the stroke care situation around the world, outcomes via the Angels Initiative, and plans to improve stroke care around Asia-Pacific. Dr. Nguyen Huy Thang, member of the Steering Committee, President of the Ho Chi Minh City Stroke Association, and Head of the Cerebrovascular Department at People’s Hospital 115, reported the latest updates on stroke care and the positive outcomes of Angels Initiative in Vietnam.

One of the key factors in maintaining and improving stroke care is continuous quality monitoring. RES-Q is a quality measurement system recommended by Angels Initiative and the World Stroke Organization (WSO) to provide a way for hospitals and countries to develop and compare national and international benchmarks for stroke treatment.

Its goal is to develop a new registry to monitor the most important performance measures in stroke care. Providing feedback on stroke care performance motivates hospitals and physicians to improve stroke care quality. In Vietnam, 14 hospitals use RES Q. With feedback from the data, the quality of stroke care at those hospitals is well-managed and improving.

WSO and Angels Initiative have also partnered to create the WSO Angels Awards program, to acknowledge and honor hospital stroke care teams and individuals committed to quality improvements in stroke care practice. RES-Q is an official tool for collecting and submitting results.

At the conference, the first WSO Angels Awards were presented to hospitals in recognition of strong improvements in their stroke care for patients. The three Vietnam hospitals receiving awards were People’s Hospital 115, University Medicine Center, and Dong Nai General Hospital.

“To receive an award, units have to update all treatment data every day,” said Dr. Thang. “The recanalization rate at those stroke-ready units has to be higher than the standard rate of 5 per cent. An 11 per cent recanalization rate was recorded at People’s Hospital 115 and we are aiming to increase this to 15 per cent by 2020, meaning more stroke patients are given a second chance to survive and live disability-free lives.”

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