The need for cross-functional collaboration
To ensure prompt care for stroke patients, Karolinska focuses on cross-functional collaboration. As soon as the patient arrives at the hospital, various types of specialists and caregivers are lined up to get the patient to the right treatment: from stroke nurses to CT nurses, neuroradiologists and stroke neurologists.
“We all rely on each other for the right patient information,” says Dr. Moreira. “For example, we need to know the expected time of arrival of the patient, the specific stroke symptoms, and the medication that the patient is on. The easier it is for us to share information like that, the quicker we can help a patient. That’s how the idea for an app-based communication tool came about.”
Facilitating information exchange
At Karolinska, Dr. Moreira leads a multidisciplinary research team that is involved in the development of the tool. The project is part of a wider innovation partnership with Philips, aimed at developing innovations that enhance the value of care and patient experiences. All stakeholders were invited by Philips to provide input for the tool: first to identify the opportunities, next to give feedback on the first paper prototypes, and later to give feedback on functional prototypes. Dr. Moreira: “We are aiming for a tool that suits every team member in the best way, providing them with the right information at the right time. That’s why we involved them from the start. Thanks to a process of continuous improvement, we now have a working prototype from Philips that we can test further.”
Dr. Moreira: “The tool, which works on a smartphone, makes it easy to disseminate relevant patient information among multiple colleagues at the same time. For example, when I get a call from the ambulance and we agree to take over the stroke patient, I can send a notification to the stroke nurse, wherever she is, so she knows when the patient is expected to arrive at the ambulance bay, when the patient got sick, and how severe the stroke is. At the same time, the CT nurse will also get a notification to get the CT lab ready for the patient.”