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WSC18-0991 Abstract Submission 20. Outcomes and Quality of Care Combined Heart and Stroke services optimizes, enhances and enables sustainability of care in a rural setting C. Tritten1, J. Throndson2, J. Kupka3, D. Norton4, C. King5, 1RN Heart & Stroke Clinic 2RN Clinical Lead, Heart & Stroke Clinic 3RN Heart &Stroke Clinic 4BsOT, Rehabilitation, Respiratory and Heart & Stroke Clinic manager 5RN, MAL, Senior Practice Consultant, Cardiovascular Health & Stroke Strategic Clinical Network Abstract Text Background How can we provide patients with timely access to specialist care while allowing them to remain within their own rural community? High volume referrals to urban specialty clinics with limited capacity, along with a patient’s inability to travel can cause limited ability to improve best practice standards of care for patients within rural communities. Methods At Covenant Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Camrose, AB, the rural heart and stroke program specializing in acute and post-acute care enables best practice standards of care to be met. Commitment between urban specialists, including cardiologist and neurologist, and local multidisciplinary, cross-trained, specialty educated teams meant patients can access care in a timely, opportune way. Unique linkages between these vascular specialists enable dual consultation including the ability for the team to be accessed throughout the inpatient and outpatient journey. Unwavering team and administrative support, dedication and community recognition has been essential in sustaining programing and growing the service offered to rural patients. Results Multidisciplinary teaming with intricate specialist involvement resulted in over 1100 visits within the inpatient/outpatient setting in the 2017 year, up 1000 visits from year one in 2008. Best practice standards of care were achieved through timely navigation, evaluation, recommendations, and follow-up with an overall reduction of disease reoccurrence, readmissions, admissions and increased quality of care for patients in rural communities. Conclusion Conscientiously and intentionally blending heart and stroke services through combined dedication of urban and rural teams significantly narrows the access gap for rural patients, thereby improving health outcomes.
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