Better Stroke Care Protocols Don't Hinge on Hospital Size
As one of the founding chairs of the Virginia Stroke Systems Task Force, he has helped bring together all the stakeholders in the state on acute stroke and rehab services, which helps hospitals, even small ones, develop as primary stroke centers.
"When I talk about organizing this in a hospital system, the most challenging and most rewarding is the orchestration of the ED services," he says. "They see everyone who is critical and if the staff isn't highly trained to notice subtle signs of stroke, they may take a victim who has more painful injury before they take a stroke victim."
That lost time counts in stroke more than anywhere else, simply because the symptoms can be so subtle, and damage from strokes can be minimized with early intervention.
"Once you recognize, the steps are protocol-driven just like trauma and MI (heart attack)," he says. "But that takes skill and training. Training takes time. And that's one thing they don't have a lot of, is time."
In a system full of large and small hospitals, the challenge, ultimately, is to bring all of them up to the speed of diagnosis of the big tertiary center. That's something on which Shephard spends a considerable amount of time and effort.
- CEO Exchange: Preparing for Population Health
- Advocate, NorthShore Deal Would Create 16-Hospital System
- Interventional Radiology No Longer a Sub-Specialty
- Top Reason for Nurse Turnover: Managers
- CEO Exchange: Pressure is On to Partner, Drive Quality
- Power of price: In South FL and the nation, healthcare costs often are shrouded in secrecy
- Two NY hospitals to offer free hip and knee replacement surgeries for qualifying patients in December
- Hospital mergers may lead to higher prices
- Healthcare data of 1 million NJ patients compromised since 2009
- House OKs Cassidy's 'keep your plan' bill