June 3, 2021 — The University of Florida Health neurocritical care team has been awarded UF’s W. Martin Smith Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Award for projects focused on reducing the likelihood of adverse events or claims and/or patient safety and clinical process improvements.
Principal investigators Katharina Busl, M.D., an associate professor in the department of neurology; Marc-Alain Babi, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of neurology; Mackenzie Thompson, PA-C, an advanced practice provider; and Jeannette Hester, M.S.N., R.N., a nursing and patient services clinical leader, were recognized for their project “CODE-Brain – Emergency neurological life support: What to do and not to do in the first hour of a neurological emergency.”
“We feel honored and are excited to commence our project,” Busl said. “It was a real team effort from the entire neurocritical care group.”
The award is co-sponsored by the UF College of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education and the Florida Self-Insurance Program.
The project introduces live courses on emergency neurology life support, or ENLS, to UF and UF Health Shands on a broad basis.
“The proposal involves teaching ENLS to various UF Health academic departments as well as a diversity of allied health care providers, nurses, trainees and advanced-practice providers,” Busl said.
The emergency neurological life support course was originally developed by the Neurocritical Care Society to provide a standardized approach to patient care during the critical first hours of neurological emergencies.
“Implementation of a standardized and protocolized approach to care in acute neurological emergencies is of utmost relevance when aiming to improve outcomes,” Babi said.
ENLS parallels the more widely known support algorithms such as advanced cardiac life support and advanced trauma life support — structured algorithms that are extensively taught and associated with improved quality of care and outcomes.
“There is a large amount of scientific evidence to support interdisciplinary care delivery, including team collaboration, training and enhanced communication, which can greatly improve patient outcomes including complications and adverse events,” Hester said. “Through interdisciplinary learning of ENLS together, it is our hope we will positively impact team performance and clinical outcomes for neurocritical care patients.”
Neurologic emergencies are at times easy to recognize but many times challenging to diagnose, according to Busl, who noted that a solid knowledge basis and algorithmic approach will help providers recognize these emergencies as well as perform crucial medical treatments.