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Stroke care improvements at Guelph General Hospital

Guelph General Hospital has expanded its emergency services to better care for stroke patients.
As part of a plan to improve access to specialized care in the Waterloo-Wellington area, the local hospital is becoming a “tele-stroke” site, linking the hospital through provincial e-Health services to expertise in stroke care.
It will also be able to provide clot-busting medications through its emergency department, and it will dedicate eight acute-care beds to stroke patients, a news release said.
The hospital’s vice-president of patient services and chief nursing executive, Eileen Bain, congratulated the hospital’s clinical teams and local, regional and provincial partners in the release. “They have worked diligently to plan for a new model of care that will improve access to both emergency stroke care and specialized inpatient stroke care at Guelph General Hospital,” she said.
The change will see stroke patients from Wellington and South Grey coming to Guelph, while Waterloo Region patients will continue to get care at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener.
Until now, Grand River has been the only hospital in Waterloo-Wellington providing clot-busting medications and having a dedicated stroke unit.
Regional studies have shown Waterloo- Wellington patients have experienced poorer outcomes from stroke in the past compared with others across Ontario, the release said.
The creation of an integrated stroke program was approved last August by the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network’s board.
Further changes to improve stroke care, which are to be in place by April 2014, will include:
• Providing dedicated stroke rehabilitation at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Grand River Hospital’s Freeport Site and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph.
• Coordinating community care to ensure patients have better access to health services after their hospital stay.
• Providing consistent standards for all stroke care providers across Waterloo- Wellington along with a single care pathway.

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