TIME = BRAIN
The Rush TeleStroke Network is a network of 10 community hospitals throughout the Chicago region and Rush University Medical Center. The network provides access, 24 x 7 x 365, to vascular neurology services for ischemic stroke patients that present in one of our affiliate emergency rooms.
Board-certified vascular neurologists from the Rush Stroke Program assess patients and help the affiliate emergency department physicians determine if a patient is a candidate for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) through an FDA-cleared telemedicine platform.
Telemedicine allows consulting physicians to speak face-to-face with patients and their families, as well as remote clinical staff. The telemedicine assessment includes reviewing CT scans and vital signs, and the high-definition camera allows the Rush neurologist to even view a patient’s pupils. The physician has access to the patient’s medical information through an electronic medical record.
Within minutes, the stroke neurologist, along with the remote clinical staff, can determine a plan of care and then turn over the treatment to the emergency physician or initiate a transfer to Rush University Medical Center if the patient requires advanced neurological care such as an endovascular procedure.
Since March 2011, our physicians have performed over 900 telemedicine consultations and the network projects to exceed 1,000 consultations by the end of 2013. The Rush TeleStroke Network is pleased to report that 29.30 percent of stroke patients consulted through our service receive tPA, with many remaining at their home hospital. To put this in perspective, the overall national tPA administration rate is 3.12 percent, according to Michael Mullen, MD, University of Pennsylvania, analysis on the National Inpatient Sample (Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Certification Increases rt-PA Treatment, 2012).
Goals of Rush TeleStroke Network:
- Ensure patients receive rapid, evidence based treatment in the most appropriate location.
- Ensure the transfer of patients, when necessary, is as easy as possible for clinicians, patients and families.
- Recognizing the value of patients’ long-term relationships with their community clinicians, and referring them back whenever possible.
- Providing network hospitals with access to educational information and best practices from an academic medical center.
- Treating patients close to home, near their primary care providers and families.
- Sharing Rush University Medical Center's best practices and protocols, including tPA administration.
- Faster initial treatment and rapid transfer of patients when appropriate.
To learn more about the Rush TeleStroke Network or if you are interested in joining the network please contact:
Director, Neuro Emergency Response Program