Accelerating Code Team Activations at a Large, Southeastern Health System
A large health system in the southeastern U.S. sought to streamline its Code Stroke critical team activations. The system was using five different systems for clinical communication, which inhibited its ability to achieve efficient critical care team responses.
In fact, activating a Code Stroke required seven steps, involving internal and external team members being notified of a Code Stroke through multiple mechanisms including pages, electronic health record (EHR) reports, and phone calls.
The system sought to consolidate its communication systems so all participants would be able to collaborate using one unified platform. This included not only the immediate response team, but also other key stakeholders—such as the CT department—who help expedite care delivery in time-sensitive situations.
In addition, the organization required that its eventual communications and collaboration the platform would always succeed in ensuring that notifications and messages reach the right, available individual on-call to respond. Any time spent waiting for responses or reaching someone unavailable would slow down the response and put the patient at risk.
Last, the health system wanted a way to provide the Code Stroke team with more information—not just that a Code Stroke required their immediate response, but also to supply patient demographics and any other pertinent information. This capability would enable shorter response times and ensure the team arrived as prepared as possible for each unique patient circumstance.
"When it comes to stroke team activation, saving one minute saves millions of brain cells. [symplr Clinical Communications] saves us valuable time and enables our teams to come together quickly, informed, and prepared to save lives." —A Clinical Nurse Program Coordinator, Neuroscience Virtual Care Telestroke
The health system selected symplr Clinical Communications (formerly Halo Health) to consolidate its clinical communications onto one, unified platform. This allowed the system to eliminate technologies such as pagers and multiple clinical phone systems.
symplr Clinical Communications also streamlined Code Stroke activations system wide, reducing steps required for activation from seven to three. This effort alone saved valuable time and resources.
Moreover, because the symplr platform pairs role-based communication with its native on-call scheduling functionality, every code team member and key stakeholder, on-call or on-site, receives instant notification of a Code Stroke.
In addition to these efforts that streamline processes at the health system, symplr Clinical Communications activates Code Strokes with context. Patient information provided by EMS is disseminated with the same message that activates the Code Stroke team, enabling the teams to communicate in real-time prior to arrival—and to arrive informed and prepared.
Through its use of symplr Clinical Communications, the health system achieved the following significant improvements:
- 57% reduction in steps required for Code Stroke activation
- 14% reduction in door-to-needle times
- 12.5% reduction in door in and out times
- 4% reduction in door-to-CT time
"[symplr Clinical Communications] has saved our staff at least three to five minutes per outreach, because their messages are received and responded to without delay." —Chief Nursing Informatics Officer