TriHealth Stroke Care team

The Health Collaborative is pleased to recognize TriHealth’s “Improving Stroke Care in the ED: When Every Minute Counts!” team as a finalist for the Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award, as part of the 2017 Inspire | Healthcare dinner and awards celebration planned for November 1. First presented in 2003 in memory of Dr. Richard Smith, a tireless leader and proponent of the safety of all patients, this award recognizes an individual or team who exemplifies commitment to quality improvement, makes it an organizational priority, and serves as a role model for those working to enhance the quality of care within their organization and throughout the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities.

The Leadership in Quality Improvement Award is given to the individual or team that has identified an opportunity to improve patient care and safety, and applied the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) principles of quality improvement to develop a successful intervention. TriHealth has demonstrated measurable improvements in the Triple Aim areas of healthier people, better care, and lower costs. Their work focuses on a clinical or non-clinical project that impacts patient care and/or experience.

The award also seeks to recognize the most compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improve care, and/or lower costs in this award category. Their innovation measurably improves significant business and/or clinical processes that positively impact patient care.

Treatment in a matter of minutes
The focus of the “When Every Minute Counts!” project was to standardize and improve the stroke process in two Emergency Departments (EDs) using a multidisciplinary approach for early recognition and treatment of stroke. Prior to the initiative, both facilities were achieving door to needle times of around 76 minutes. Since the initiative, 63.6% of the door to needle times were less than 60 minutes. The best was 37 minutes.

Impacting healthcare and impressing healthcare professionals
The ability to provide high quality stroke care in a timely manner when every minute counts, makes this project worthy of recognition. It’s achieved high business and clinical value by aligning with TriHealth’s organizational goals and strategic plans to make TriHealth “the place people want to work, physicians want to practice, and what the community chooses for their healthcare needs.”

Education, recognition, action
This initiative has improved the care and the efficiency that all members of the healthcare team provide in stroke recognition. The stroke protocols upon arrival to the ED are instrumental to its success, whether patients walk in or are transported using community Emergency Medical Systems. The two EDs exceeded their goal by achieving less than 15 minutes from door to CT scan. This achievement surpasses The Joint Commission’s recommendations of 25 minutes.

Meet the Team

  • Kathryn Gleason, BSN, RN, CEN
  • Donna Gorman, BSH, RN, CEN
  • Kathy Lebowitz, MSN, RN, CEN, NEA-BC
  • Elizabeth Salyers, BSN, RN, CEN
  • Jonah Salyers, RN, CEN, TCRN, SCRN, EMT-B
  • Kim Schmeusser, MSN, RN, CEN, Project Lead
  • David Sens, RN, CEN

Please join The Health Collaborative and its Quality Improvement staff in congratulating the TriHealth ED team for its outstanding work in “Improving Stroke Care in the ED: When Every Minute Counts!” When precious minutes are saved, more stroke victims’ lives and health are preserved.

About Inspire | Healthcare:

Inspire | Healthcare is the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region’s premier annual healthcare event and awards celebration. The awards seek to recognize innovations by individuals, teams, and/or organizations in the areas of informatics, quality improvement, and population health. Other awards given annually include the Inspire Champion Award and the Hoxworth Blood Drive Awards, with separate nomination and judging processes. For more information about Inspire | Healthcare, visit

About The Health Collaborative:

The Health Collaborative strives to lead data-driven improvement initiatives that result in healthier people, better care, and smarter spending. Based in Cincinnati, we work with those who provide care, pay for care, and receive care, to find mutual solutions to healthcare’s most challenging problems. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit