“Improving patient outcomes is what the acute stroke unit is all about,” says Dalene Newton, Director of Adult Medicine and Complex Care. “The new bedside bullet rounds are designed to bring together the entire care team at the patient’s bedside on the third day of admission. They are there to answer questions and provide each patient, along with their family, a full picture of their condition and all the things that need to happen next.”

The new bedside interprofessional bullet rounds began its trial period this week and the team is confident they will improve the patient experience.

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The stroke unit bullet rounds team enjoys a moment before beginning their daily huddle.

What are bullet rounds?
It’s a quick rounding of each patient among a diverse group of caregivers – doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, pharmacists and more – all the people needed to give care to a certain group of patients. By bringing the group together to discuss the patient’s care for the day at the same time, the care plan is coordinated.

“Strokes are often life-challenging and life-changing events. This means they are scary and confusing for the patient and the patient’s family,” says Ruth Whelan, Clinical Nurse Specialist. “We chose day three for the bedside rounds because by this time we usually understand the cause of the stroke and the team members have had the opportunity to assess the patient. This means the team has a good idea of the care plan for the patient and how they will be treating them so they will be able to answer questions and educate the family about what is next and how to prevent this from happening again.”

The bedside team includes the patient’s own physician, nurse, clinical nurse specialists, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech language pathologist, dietician, pharmacist, client patient access services consultant and social worker. The time is set and communicated to families upon admission of the patient to the unit so they know when and where they will be able to meet and question the whole care team.

The acute stroke unit, which was operationalized in June of this year as part of the breakthrough initiatives of 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day, has 16 beds within the neuro-unit on the 6th floor of Royal University Hospital.