Door To Needle Lean Project Wins at Irish Healthcare Awards

Congratulations to all of the staff at The Mater Hospital involved in the Door to Needle Lean Six Sigma Project which won the Best Hospital Project award at last week’s Irish Healthcare Awards.

Reducing the time between the onset of the stroke and the administration of intravenous thrombolysis (for those who are eligible) reduces disability levels and improves the outcome for the patient. The median Door to Needle time for Acute Ischemic Stroke patients attending the Mater Hospital Emergency Department was 80 minutes before the introduction of the Door to Needle project. A goal was established by a group made up of staff at Mater Hospital to reduce this median to 60 minutes in line with current international guidelines.

This group, facilitated by the MCO Lean Six Sigma team, mapped the existing pathway for stroke patients arriving at the Emergency Department, by ambulance. Based on this pathway, the group carried out data collection in order to establish the timings for each step of the process, from the patient’s arrival at the ED to the CT scan and finally to intravenous thrombolysis treatment, if suitable. Data collection was carried out over 12 weeks for day and night time periods in the Emergency Department, in order to gain a comprehensive data set which would highlight process delays and barriers to rapid treatment . The group then implemented a series of process improvements based on their findings.

The “Door to Needle” project has seen a dramatic reduction in access to treatment for Stroke patients in the Mater Hospital. Although the goal was originally 60 minutes, recent data analysis indicates that the Door to Needle time has been reduced to 48 minutes, representing a 40% reduction in time to treatment, saving an estimated 34 million brain cells per patient. We are delighted to share these findings and the benefits Lean Six Sigma can provide in the healthcare setting.

MCO’s Lean project to find solutions for long wait times for at antenatal clinics at The Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital was also nominated in the Best Hospital Project category and received an Irish Healthcare commendation on the night.