The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) has been named a Circle of Honor winner in the Maryland Patient Safety Center’s 2022 Minogue Awards for Patient Safety Innovation. The award-winning program, “Stroke ‘SWARM’ Process,” streamlines the process for giving clot-busting drug therapy to stroke patients within 30 minutes of arrival to the hospital.
“This procedural change has not only made our outcomes better, but more importantly, it has improved our care of patients with stroke symptoms, which is always our top priority,” said Kathy McCollum, UM BWMC president and CEO. “Being recognized as a Maryland Patient Safety Center 2022 Minogue Award winner is a great honor and a true testament to the culture of innovation, forward-thinking, safety and teamwork at UM BWMC.”
UM BWMC is one of just 10 hospitals statewide to be recognized in this year’s Maryland Patient Safety Center Minogue Award for Patient Safety Innovation program. UM Charles Regional Medical Center, another University of Maryland Medical System hospital, was also named a Circle of Honor winner.
“We are particularly proud of this recognition for our hospitals because there is nothing more important in health care than keeping our patients safe and constantly striving to improve innovation and quality,” said Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of UMMS. “These awards highlight our system’s fundamental commitment to compassionate, high-quality care; health care transformation; and discovery-based medicine.”
“SWARM” was developed to improve on what was a best practice, and the hospital’s team was able to successfully administer a thrombolytic in a more timely and safe manner” said Dr. Christopher Stack, medical director of the stroke program at UM BWMC. “Utilizing this model, the team was able to remove minutes from each part of the treatment process.”
Each minute of an untreated large vessel occlusion in an ischemic stroke patient can result in the death of 1.9 million neurons. In September 2019, a group at UM BWMC met with a goal to shorten the time that a thrombolytic was given to patients that arrived with stroke symptoms by ambulance. Examining the process, the group felt that a “best practice” was already in place but that they could do better, gain minutes and reduce time in the process with door-to-needle times and door-in/door-out times (DI-DO) by using a “swarm” model of care.
“In this model, each team member has a task to be completed in parallel in order to get everything done to increase blood flow to the brain in as short a time as possible, similar to a team sport where everyone needs to carry out their responsibilities,” said Theresa Maloney, stroke program coordinator.
Blair Eig, president and CEO of the Maryland Patient Safety Center, said health care organizations in Maryland are some of the most forward-thinking throughout the country.
“We are proud to recognize all participants for their attention, innovation, and commitment to addressing some of the most pertinent and complex issues penetrating patient safety today,” Eig said. “Congratulations to the winners on their successful contributions to our mission of Keeping Maryland Healthcare Safe.”
Named for the center’s first president and executive director, William Minogue, to honor his enduring contributions to and passion for improving patient care and safety, the Minogue Awards were created by the center board of directors to recognize organizations within the state that have made a demonstrable difference in patient safety through an innovative solution.
The Minogue honorees were selected by a panel of independent judges who are leaders in the Maryland health care community. UM BWMC will be recognized and present its solution at the 18th annual Maryland Patient Safety Conference, which will be held March 4.
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