Some say that change is constant. For some it is gradual and for others it is a swift shift. In the case of the Sumy Hospital in Ukraine, they were able to show great positive changes in only a few months. They went from being a small-town hospital that only received patients during regular business hours to an Angels Diamond Award winner within the same year. They already had the right people and the enthusiasm to improve. They only needed the right additional tools and support.
It all got into motion in June of 2019 when Maria Sheverdina, Angels Consultant, met with the Sumy Hospital Stroke Unit’s team – lead by Dr. Olena Kucheriavenko. The first step this collaboration took was to perform several simulations and agree to evaluate all possible levels of their stroke pathway. The first In-hospital simulation was in July. The team quickly realized that taking stroke patients straight to CT, instead of the ICU, was much more effective. This initial improvement in time made them more eager to keep discovering solutions and to reorganize their institution’s internal pathway. There were several more simulations after this in the following months.
- The 2 simulations performed in the hospital were in conjunction with the EMS team. Conveniently for a great collaboration, they are both located in the same region.
- November 2019 created a big impression on the young neurologist, Dr. Olexandr Shkolnyi, who was the most involved along with Dr. Kucheriavenko by attending the Brno Simulation Center in Czech Republic.
- Lastly, the entire team visited the Poltava Simulation Center in December 2019 - consolidating what they had been learning from their colleagues along with Angels.
These were game changers in order to adjust the general pathway in the hospital. They created a solid plan with the EMS and implemented the Stroke phone in the department in order to have a more convenient, easy and fast pre-notification for all cases. It also made all the team members accountable for their key roles in stroke care, while increasing their ambition to be the best they can be for their patients.
“In our daily work, we strive to minimize the disability of patients who have suffered a stroke. We strive to improve the quality of life of our patients. We joined the Angels Initiative for these very reasons… We are proud of the results, which we owe to the reduction in door-to-needle time. There is a common desire for development and uniqueness of thoughts and ideas. We are very happy that in this "battlefield" we have a lot of support for the daily struggle!”. Olexandr Shkolnyi
From July to October they were already having significant improvement: The neurologists even communicated a 5-minute door to needle time once. It became a 24-hour hospital by the end of this period. They had established a protocol with the strong and active Emergency Medical Services’ team. They were performing around 15 recanalization treatments each month.
By the last quarter of 2019, they had become ESO Angels Diamond Award winners because of their Door to Needle time. In a regional Angels Day event in February 2020, the team leaders were there in Dnipro. Dr. Kucheriavenko was invited to speak about their achievements and how - regardless of the challenges throughout the years – such as the development the country is going through and the difficult access to the treatment - they accomplished significant changes and visible results.
Following their first success, they are still working in 2020:
- They are helping their hospital’s development
- Creating public awareness along with the FAST campaign
- Developing a Stroke Community in their region and surrounding areas
- Promoting education of stroke teams and nurses
- Continued to win Angels awards throughout 2020
The city of Sumy is quite small and has a low income. The Sumy Central City Clinical Hospital was in a similar situation compared to the rest in their region and in other areas in Ukraine, and their Stroke Unit was able to only give treatment to a few patients per year - but they had the ambition of saving more lives. Sumy City Hospital is proof that it is possible for anyone to become a Diamond Status Hospital with the right motivation.