Several of the Ontario Stroke Network’s abstracts were available at the Canadian Stroke Congress (CSC) 2015. Over the next few weeks, the OSN eBulletin will highlight those abstracts.

Authors: Murphy C1, Sundquist S1, Annis R2, Beaudoin C1, Gierman T8, Ivers N3,4, McConnell H7, O’Brien P4, O’Callaghan C1, Setterfield M9, Steacie A5, Thomas, J6

The poster, ‘Supporting Quality Improvement in Primary Care through an Integrated Vascular Health Care Approach‘ was on display at CSC 2015 from Sept. 18-19.

Vascular diseases are the leading cause of preventable death in Ontario. Ninety-three per cent of Ontarians are followed by primary care (PC) providers. The Ontario Stroke Network (OSN) seized the opportunity to impact vascular disease burden by establishing the Vascular Health Primary Care Work Group (PCWG) in 2012. One PCWG goal was to develop tools to enable implementation of vascular health (VH) best practices and quality improvement (QI).

The PCWG was engaged in the establishment of a shared vision and provincial VH priorities for PC. The top two priorities for development were identified: 1) a comprehensive, point-of-care, decision support Vascular Health Assessment and Support Tool (VHAST) building on effective elements of the OSN’s Hypertension Management Program (HMP); and 2) a VH QI Toolkit. The PCWG was tasked with overseeing development and implementation including: change management approaches, stakeholder engagement and evaluation plans.

Priority 1: VHAST “proof of concept” received qualitative evaluation (n > 55 people) including positive comments on appropriateness, usefulness and opportunities for additional development requirements. These results informed the next phase VHAST prototype development that included the following requirements: straightforward and feasible specifications for multiple vascular diseases; functioning in an Ontario MD funding-eligible Electronic Medical Record offering; and leveraging applicable Canadian Cardiovascular Harmonized National Guidelines Endeavour (C-CHANGE) recommendations.

Priority 2: The VH QI Toolkit “turnkey” framework was developed and refined to include QI elements assisting PC providers with implementing VH QI plans.

Although early in development, the VHAST and VH QI Toolkit have been positively received as incorporating “feasible, meaningful, useful and scalable” elements based on an integrated, patient-centred approach to healthcare delivery. PC stakeholders have demonstrated continued interest and enthusiasm in these priorities that aim to build capacity to implement VH best practices and QI plans. The OSN is strengthening connections (e.g., HQO, CDA) ensuring alignment and efficiencies.

1Ontario Stroke Network, Toronto, Canada

2North Perth Family Health Team, Listowel, Canada

3Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Canada

4Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

5Upper Canada Family Health Team, Brockville, Canada

6Peninsula Family Health Team, Lion’s Head, Canada

7Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

8University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Canada

9The Cardiac Care Network of Ontario, Toronto, Canada