Stroke is the leading cause of disability globally. World Stroke Day, marked each year on October 29, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of stroke as well as care and rehabilitation for stroke survivors. Bridgepoint is home to a leading rehabilitation program that has been recognized with Stroke Distinction by Accreditation Canada. In addition to providing best practice care every day, the innovative teams in our inpatient and outpatient programs work on research and quality improvement projects aiming to raise the bar in stroke rehabilitation care. Below are a few examples of what’s new in our stroke rehabilitation programs.

Outpatient program improving access to care
Initial results are in on a new interprofessional screening tool developed by the stroke team to simplify admission for patients with mild strokes referred to the outpatient program from acute care. The tool has improved admission timelines, increased patient and family engagement and resulted in early goal setting and stroke education. The screening tool is now embedded in the admission process for mild stroke survivors accessing the outpatient rehabilitation program.

A patient and an occupational therapist working on exercises in a therapy session

Rehabilitation exercises on the inpatient stroke unit at Bridgepoint

Innovation in inpatient care
A number of research projects investigating different aspects of stroke rehabilitation are underway including:

  • A study on a new approach to helping patients experiencing difficulties with their thinking skills after a stroke;
  • A study on creating a more seamless transition from hospital to home for stroke survivors and their caregivers; and,
  • An evaluation study on the reliability and validity of a test used to measure patients’ progress in improving their walking. (The outpatient rehabilitation program is also participating in this study.)

Research collaboratory
Michelle Nelson, a Research Scientist at Bridgepoint’s Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, part of the Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, conducts research on rehabilitative care for complex patients—including stroke survivors. Michelle works with clinicians and health-care decision-makers. Through this collaboration, her work has a direct impact on improving care at the bedside and at the health-care system level.

This year Michelle published a study showing that although the majority of stroke patients have multiple health conditions, much of the research used to develop clinical guidelines for stroke rehabilitation excludes these patients. Another recent paper investigated how medical professionals define patient complexity. Both of these papers achieved the distinction of being the most viewed articles of 2016 in the journals Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation and The Journal Comorbidity, respectively.

Fast facts about stroke rehabilitation at Bridgepoint

 32 days–The average length of stay on our inpatient stroke unit
38.7 points–Average change in functional scores from admission to discharge
4–The number of stroke programs Bridgepoint offers: high-intensity and reconditioning rehabilitation, specialized medical  and complex care, and outpatient rehabilitation.
6–The number of sessions in our stroke education series for patients and families

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