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New Stroke Patient Management System Could Cut Hospital Bed Usage By More Than 25 Percent

Update Date: Oct 06, 2014 10:25 AM EDT

Researchers have developed an innovative patient management system at the acute stroke unit of Kelowna (BC) General Hospital, that can reduce the number of stroke patient bed days by more than 25 percent, according to a new study. 

In total, it is estimated the new system is saving the 380-bed hospital more than 1,000 bed days per year. This represents annual savings of up to $800,000, all achieved without the need for any new investment in devices, treatments or personnel, the press release added. 

"It's a win-win situation," said Dr. John B. Falconer, director of the transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke clinic at the hospital, and author of the study, in the press release. "Patients are better and more efficiently treated, the hospital saves resources and the morale of the whole unit is much better."

The program dubbed Proprietary Physician, or Pro-MD, involves assuring that one of the hospital's five neurologists is always designated as primarily responsible for best bed usage and patient flow on the acute stroke unit.

"The ward becomes "that doctor's" ward; they have a propriety interest in it functioning well," said Dr. Falconer. Each doctor's assignment as Pro-MD could last several weeks or a month. 

"This brings everyone who needs to have input into decisions about a patient's care together to agree on the action needed. This is very advantageous compared to formerly having to compare written notes from one another and wait for input from others."

The study was presented at the annual Canadian Stroke Congress in Vancouver and was provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. 

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