What is imaging’s role in stroke care? Strokes are a leading cause of disability in the United States and can cause huge economic and social burden. That’s why the latest innovations in healthcare technology work to get as much data, including imaging, to physicians in the ER before the patient even arrives. A recent article by the Advisory Board highlights how new standards may increase imaging volumes. A few months ago, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association expanded the window for which clot removal was an option for ischemic stroke patients based on the results of two major clinical trials, DAWN and DEFUSE 3.
What does this mean? In the past, clot removal for ischemic stroke patients (this includes 75% of stroke patients), was thought to be a viable option only within 6 hours of the stroke. However, this new research indicates that clot removal could be a viable option even up to 24 hours later. As a result, imaging departments should prepare for an increase in CT and MRI exams to determine if more patients are eligible for this treatment. Particularly, facilities who do not already offer CT perfusion imaging may consider adding this technology and accommodating additional staff and imaging reads.
Cloud technology and telemedicine have been at the forefront of speeding up time to care delivery in stroke care. Research shows that effective telestroke treatment in remote areas contributed to a 50% decrease in costly and time-consuming emergency room transfers from rural areas to leading stroke care centers.
Stroke networks need flexibility for inbound volume. Having a top-notch administrative queue to process orders and incoming studies with little to no administrative monitoring is an absolute necessity.
– David Bradshaw, Chief Information and Strategy Officer of Memorial Hermann Health System.
The John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, in partnership with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, unveiled the country’s first mobile stroke unit, powered by the Ambra medical image management platform. A computed tomography (CT) scanner that’s on board the ambulance allows mobile stroke unit teams to quickly assess whether a patient is having a stroke caused by a blood clot, and, if so, administer clot-busting medications. Ambra handles the transmission of the imaging studies from the mobile stroke unit back to the hospital. Time is Brain in telestroke use cases, and the cloud is helping to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs for facilities. Stroke networks face a great amount of inbound volume. Enhanced workflows that allow for orders to be processed along with instant syncing of personal health information is must when Time is Brain.