Telemedicine Initiative Using REACH (Remote Evaluation of Acute Ischemic Stroke) System

Purpose

  • To improve access to neurologists/stroke specialists in rural communities. Access to a neurologist is a critical step impacting outcome for stroke patients
  • Will allow neurologists to remotely consult on patients in rural emergency rooms and/or inpatient hospital settings. Permits reviewing computed tomography (CT) scans in real time and making recommendations regarding treatment and, if appropriate, t-PA from any broadband-connected laptop/computer using wireless WEB based equipment

Background

  • Estimated 700,000 to 750,000 new or recurrent strokes occur each year in the U.S.
  • Stroke remains the leading cause of disability and the leading cause of death
  • Time is Brain

REACH System

Developed at Medical College of Georgia

  • 100% WEB based service that provides decision support solutions for remote diagnosis and evaluation of acute diseases such as stroke
  • REACH is developed, hosted and supported by REACHMDConsult, Inc. based in Augusta, GA and East Brunswick, NJ
  • Clinical expertise of neurologists at HUB Hospital will allow physician consultation in evaluation and, if appropriate, approve administration of t-PA to acute stroke patients
  • Network allows for full-time (24/7) availability of New York State licensed neurologists over secure internet connection
  • Allows physicians to rapidly consult on stroke patients at a rural hospital from any computer with high speed internet access. Real time video of patients' images anywhere. Immediate access to care - more patients will be seen within the t-PA therapeutic window).

Proposed Implementation

  • All Rural Hospitals SPOKED to 5 HUB New York State Hospitals – Trauma Resource Centers
  • Informational meetings held with Iroquois Health Consortium, Western Region Consortium, HANYS Hospital Association, New York State as well as around State
  • Commissioner physician neurologist workgroup established
  • Meeting with HUB Hospital Bassett, Cooperstown, NY – August 16, 2006 with potential SPOKE hospitals
  • Other meetings will be held with the 3 other HUB Hospitals (Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY; University Hospital, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse, NY; and Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY)
  • Expected date of implementation Phase in mid-September 2006