Improving the Stroke Workflow Using Real Time Location Tracking and The Co-Design of The Stroke Communication Tool

When an individual suffers a stroke, every second counts (Saver, 2006). To ensure prompt care for stroke patients, a hospital needs to focus on cross-functional collaboration (Jauch et al., 2013). Improved door-to-treatment times are closely linked to lower in-hospital mortality, reduced long-term disability, length of stay and higher shares of patients discharged to the home setting instead of other care settings such as rehab or skilled nursing facilities (Wahlgren, 2016; Sheehan & Tsirka, 2005). During confrontations done by the team with various members of stroke teams of a diverse range of hospitals, stakeholders expressed the need to improve door-to-treatment times by helping to streamline processes, enhancing the communication and sharing of information among team members. As a next step, the team started a co-creation process with one of the leading hospitals in stroke care: Karolinska hospital (Sweden) with the goal to create a solution to lower door to treatment time. We conducted an experience flow study to identify opportunity areas and translated the insights and findings into a shared initial solution concept: a communication tool for stroke teams. After several design verification cycles, a prototype of the solution was deployed at the hospital. To quantitatively measure the effect of using the tool, an automatic workflow analysis method was introduced, in which a temporary Real Time Localization System (RTLS) is deployed to accurately record timestamps of all critical location changes of patients and stroke team members. These timestamps were recorded before (baseline) and after introduction of the stroke communication tool, and the results compared to measure its impact.