Banner Del E. Webb’s new stroke process saving lives
Hospital and community first responders develop process to further shorten treatment time for stroke patients
“Based on the results of the VAN system at Banner Del E. Webb, this data can be used across Arizona to serve as a scale to measure and improve the results of stroke alert patients,” said Dr. Douglas Franz, stroke neurology medical director.

Contact: Caitlin Wendt, [email protected]

SUN CITY WEST, Ariz. (May 9, 2018) – In August 2017 Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center’s emergency department collaborated with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to develop a new process to care for stroke patients that are brought to the hospital.

The new process, which includes a vision, aphasia and neglect (VAN)  exam, allows emergency staff to expedite care to potential stroke patients by more quickly assessing the extent of their injury and ensuring that appropriate patients more quickly receive a critical medical imaging procedure (CT scan) needed to begin treatment.

When the EMS provider arrives at the hospital, they take a patient who appears to be having a stroke directly to a designated area near the hospital’s CT scanner in the emergency department (ED). Then an ED nurse will conduct the VAN exam, a screening that can quickly identify strokes caused by a blockage in a larger artery.

If the VAN exam is positive, a CT angiogram will be performed, a medical imaging procedure that can determine whether a doctor needs to perform a surgical procedure to remove a vein clot, called a thrombectomy. 

“This decrease in time to recognize and treat stroke patients not only saves lives, but improves the person’s outcomes and quality of life after a stroke,” said Sandi Davis, director of nursing in emergency, observation, pre-hospital and trauma services at Banner Del E. Webb. “Performing the VAN exam can help determine quickly if a patient needs to be transferred to Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix quickly to have a life-saving procedure performed.”

Before the current program was implemented, the average time was 56 minutes from the time the patient arrived to the ED to the time medication was administered.  Now, the average time is 35 minutes, and in some cases has been as low as 17 minutes. The average transfer for surgical intervention was 110 minutes before and has now decreased to 91 minutes on average. Some patients have even been transferred out in less than 60 minutes.

“Based on the results of the VAN system at Banner Del E. Webb, this data can be used across Arizona to serve as a scale to measure and improve the results of stroke alert patients,” said Dr. Douglas Franz, stroke neurology medical director.

Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center is a community hospital in Sun City West, Arizona. The hospital specializes in orthopedic surgery, heart care, emergency care, cancer care, and obstetrics. Banner Del E. Webb is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 28 hospitals in six states. Supporting Banner Del E. Webb’s mission of excellent patient care is Sun Health Foundation, which encourages charitable giving to enhance health care delivery. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/Webb.

For further information: Caitlin Wendt, [email protected]