Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital has received a grant from the North Dakota Department of Health to participate in the State Stroke Program. As part of the program, the hospital will provide data to build the state stroke registry, participate in stroke-care education, and work with other participating facilities. So far, the program has enrolled 25 of the 36 critical access hospitals in the state.
"The program looks at stroke care quality measures, and individual hospitals can use the data to compare their different time benchmarks, which ones they hit and which ones they didn't. They can compare the data nationwide, though we're concentrating on the state data," said Nikki Massmann, Quality Network Stroke Coordinator for the Center for Rural Health.
"Each hospital will populate the registry with about 12 months worth of cases," she added.
The data collected can then be used to help identify areas that are meeting or exceeding the needs of stroke patients, and drive quality efforts in areas that need improvement.
Shawn Smothers, administrator at Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital, explained that the project should help the hospital provide consistency of care as well as help improve the quality of care for patients across the state.
"We're a very small facility, we will probably have about one to two cases to submit in the time frame, but any data is valuable if you're looking at an aggregate group," Smothers said.
"It will help us to get the information, too. Because of the fact that our volume of cases is small, it gives us all those other resources to look at. In a rural setting, we're often staffed with a nurse practitioner versus a physician, and it's critical to be able to follow a protocol so that patients who present to us can be treated appropriately," Smothers added.
The North Dakota Critical Access Hospital Quality Network, a program of the Center for Rural Health, is providing technical assistance and support for the State Stroke Program in partnership with the state health department and the American Heart Association.
The State Stroke Program is supported with funds from the state. North Dakota legislators made an investment in a statewide registry in 2009.