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Innovative Health Care Magazine

14 Innovative Health - Summer 2016 of stroke symptoms. As part of the McLaren Stroke Network, interventional neurologists utilize a telemedicine “robot” to provide consultative services within minutes of notification by onsite emergency and in house physicians. The TeleStroke System allows the neurologist to beam in to the patient’s bedside from a remote location and assess the patient, review CT scan images and discuss best options for the patient with onsite physicians and the patient’s family. The high-definition TV monitor is very clear, allowing the specialist to magnify the screen to check the eye pupils remotely. Hospitals across the McLaren system have installed these telemedicine robots, ensuring that patients have access to rapid decision-making for treatment. This technology assures that clinical therapies such as clot removal and clot-busting drugs can be applied quickly and effectively, resulting in better outcomes for the patient in regaining blood flow to affected areas in the brain, thus minimizing long term impairment. With the TeleStroke network, stroke patients benefit from speedier diagnoses, faster care, and a better chance of recovery. Using TeleStroke’s two-way video technology, the doctor can evaluate patients, see their vital signs, discuss their care with their families and physicians, and review their imaging studies. All this, even if the doctor is at another hospital, at home, or even sitting in a car. The McLaren Stroke Network receives more than 100 stroke alerts per month. The network operates on a “hub-and-spoke” model. In acute cases, the interventional neurologist might order patients moved to one of the two “hub” hospitals, McLaren Macomb or McLaren Flint, for a highly specialized interventional neurological procedure (for example, removal of a blood clot from the brain or neuro-coiling to treat an aneurysm). In other cases, the patient might be treated at Level II “spoke” hospitals within the McLaren system. Early intervention and treatment is critical, as, according to Dr. Majjhoo, “One minute of blood blockage to the brain,” Dr. Majjhoo said, “can kill two million brain cells.” One of the approaches to increase treatment opportunities and improve stroke outcomes is to provide intravenous rt- PA treatment in a more timely fashion after patient arrival in the Emergency Department (reduce the “door to needle time” for IV rt-PA ). Earlier administration of intravenous rt-PA after the onset of stroke symptoms is associated with greater functional recovery. The national benchmark for “door to needle time” is 60 minutes. At McLaren, it is 48 minutes. Dr. Majjhoo foresees “fewer than 45 minutes,” with progress even beyond that. “Cold statistics” can have, indeed, chilling effects on our awareness of the factors at play when stroke happen… but those stats can warm our hearts, too, when innovations like McLaren Health Care’s TeleStroke program save lives and redeem peoples’ normal activities “McLaren is a leader in stroke care in Michigan, and in the entire country,” said Dr. Majjhoo. “We’re off to a good start.” With specialists like Dr. Majjhoo, and up-to-the-minute technology, this remarkable care and intervention is not a “stroke” of luck, but rather the latest stage of innovative health care. I www.mclaren.org/stroke


Innovative Health Care Magazine
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