Friday, February 24, 2012

Research Medical Center Launches TeleStroke Program

Steven Kosa, MD, neurologist at Research Medical Center

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability. Time-critical diagnosis of those 795,000 annual U.S. stroke patientsis paramount in helping patients receive the necessary drugs and treatment. Delays in diagnosis contribute to the mortality and disability associated with stroke.

Midwest Stroke Care at Research MedicalCenter recently launched TeleStroke, part of its telemedicine program, which overcomes geographic and transportation barriers with reliable technology. TeleStroke allows immediate access to Research Medical Center’s stroke experts who can provide consultation and quality, leading-edge healthcare with on-site providers in rural and underserved areas to manage acute stroke as needed.

“The beauty of telemedicine services such as TeleStroke is that it brings off-site specialty services directly to the patients and physicians who need them at exactly the time when they need them,” says Iftekhar Ahmed, MD, a leader in Stroke/TIA care and medical director of The Stroke Care Center at Research Medical Center. “Significant research proves that telemedicine can result in a reduction of unnecessary transfers and improved quality of care.

”Telemedicine is a rapidly expanding area of healthcare that uses various telecommunication technologies to exchange medical information from one location to another, enabling physicians and medical institutions to treat and consult with physicians, clinicians and patients in hospitals. Research Medical Center’s TeleStroke Program will support community hospitals by providing 24-hour on-call stroke specialists and Emergency Department acute stroke consultation.

Using real-time video conferencing, Midwest Stroke Care’s TeleStroke program provides a 24-hour on-call neurologist to aid in prompt evaluation and treatment of stroke patients, helping to determine whether or not the patient’s symptoms require the administration of rtPA, an an intravenous clot-busting drug. When administered within three hours of having a stroke, rtPA can help break up blood clots.

Research Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health System—Kansas City’s largest healthcare network—has the technology to deliver highly specialized stroke care.The hospital received Get With the Guidelines™ - StrokeGold Plus in 2011. This award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations. Research Medical Center was the first Certified Primary Stroke Center in the region and offers comprehensive stroke care with the latest technologies andmost effective treatments available.

Kevin J. Hicks, chief executive officer of Research Medical Center, says that the physicians and staff are committed to maximizing resources efficiently to deliver the best healthcare. “TeleStroke, part of our telemedicine services,reflects Research’s dedication to quality patient care,” says Hicks.

For information about partnering with Midwest Stroke Care at Research Medical Center, call (816) 276-3946.

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