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Building a Telestroke Relationship

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, July 13, 2011
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St. John Providence is proposing a comanagement structure within its telestroke program as it expands its research and geographic reach and leverages its brand, Fisher says. Essentially, physicians would be given the ability to design and manage “the most operationally efficient clinical program for care of their service line’s patients across the hospital,” he says.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital also has formed a telestroke network with six hospitals to improve patient outcomes, says Sarah Livesay, MS, RN, manager of the neuroscience clinical programs at St. Luke’s. The hospital acts as a hub to other hospitals in the area, which serve as spokes, she says. As a hub, St. Luke’s provides 24/7 access to each of its stroke team members, expedited patient transfer capabilities, and eight hours of education annually to nursing and medical staffs of other hospitals. The program is called Stroke Telemedicine: Stroke Partners Network.

From November 2009 until January 2011, there have been 83 patients who were treated and transferred to St. Luke’s within the telestroke system who may not otherwise have been served in a rural area of Texas, Livesay says. Of those patients, 30% received radiology services and 10% received additional neurological services, she says.

Fiscal outcomes also have increased as a result of the telestroke program, Livesay says. Net revenues for the hospital system increased from $1.2 million in January 2011 to $2.3 million in July 2011. By December 2012, the hospital’s goal is to establish 15 partner connections.

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