A national quality improvement project led by East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the University of Lincoln in collaboration with the National Ambulance Services Clinical Quality Group and National Ambulance Research Steering Groups has been shortlisted for the prestigious Health Service Journal Awards 2012: Enhancing Care with Data and Information Management.
The Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative (ASCQI), funded by the Health Foundation, was a quality improvement collaborative involving all twelve English ambulance trusts, the first time all services have been involved in a national project. The aims was to improve pre-hospital care for cardiovascular disease by using a care-bundle approach to ensure that every patient presenting with heart attack or stroke received each element of optimal care.
The care bundle for suspected heart attack included aspirin, glyceryl trinitrate, pain scoring before and after treatment and pain relief. The suspected stroke bundle included the face-arm-speech test (FAST), and recording blood glucose and blood pressure. The project involved measuring and benchmarking performance, analysing barriers and facilitators to improvement, and using quality improvement methods to improve the quality of services.
ASCQI achieved statistically significant improvements in ten out of twelve trusts in either the stroke or heart attack care bundle, with five out of twelve trusts showing significant improvements for both heart attack and stroke. Overall performance for the care bundle for heart attack increased nationally in Englandfrom 43 to 79 percent and for stroke from 83 to 96 percent.
ASCQI achieved its aim of applying quality improvement methods to improve care for patients presenting to ambulance services inEnglandwith heart attack or stroke.