ENGLEWOOD (Jan. 30, 2012) – Centura Health today announced the expansion of its Centura Health Stroke Network through the addition of telestroke, a state-of-the-art on-demand option to stroke care that enhances services in rural communities by reducing death and disability caused by stroke. Through secure high-speed network videoconferencing and image-sharing technology, Centura Health will connect teams at remote facilities across Colorado with Centura Health specialists – in real time - to rapidly assess and treat patients exhibiting signs of stroke, narrowing the window of time necessary to minimize permanent injury to the brain.
Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango becomes the first hospital in the statewide network to connect with stroke teams at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Metro Denver, an acute certified stroke center with comprehensive capability. Castle Rock Adventist Health Campus in Castle Rock will launch telestroke in the spring with additional statewide rural and non-rural expansion planned over the next twelve months.
· Telestroke is a cloud-based technology that allows neurologists located at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Metro Denver to assist providers in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who arrive at the hospital emergency department with a suspected stroke.
· In the emergency department exam room, there is a video camera system, microphone and computer that allow neurologists to view the patient and communicate with physicians, perform a neurological examination including the complete National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, and directly view computed tomography (CT) scans to evaluate for intracranial hemorrhage or conditions that may mimic stroke in clinical presentation.
· Telestroke is enhanced by Centura Health’s strong physician talent, experience and commitment to provide stroke outreach to patients and families, and to collaborate with rural physicians throughout Colorado to strengthen the delivery of stroke care.
· “Connecting rural providers to a statewide telestroke network is another example of how Centura Health is working to collaborate with clinical experts to strengthen resources and keep care local,” said Gary Campbell, president and CEO, Centura Health. “By integrating our networks’ statewide resources and delivering high-speed stroke expertise, we can reduce disparities in acute stroke care for those living in rural Colorado.”
· "Telestroke brings immediate and effective care to patients and hospitals that otherwise would not have the resources to enable patients to receive stroke care within the eight hour window for advanced stroke intervention,” said Mihaela Alexander, MD, stroke and neurology medical director at Littleton Adventist Hospital. “I constantly strive to grow, change, renew and enhance our stroke program, ensuring my patients make the best recovery possible."
· “Stroke does not discriminate. You can’t be hesitant. You need expertise quickly,” said Paul Gibson, emergency services director, Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. “Our clinical teams and local physicians have been working aggressively on Centura Health’s telestroke program that will enable the residents of Durango and surrounding communities to receive expert neurological care in the ‘golden hour’ when the need for precise diagnosis and immediate treatment can often make the difference between a lifelong disability and a return to normalcy.”
· According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability.
· A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.
· Eighty percent of strokes are ischemic strokes - an affliction in which a blood clot, formed in another part of the body, travels to a smaller blood vessel in the brain and becomes lodged, blocking the blood flow to that area.
· One form of treatment is to administer Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) within 4.5 hours of symptom onset, a clot busting drug that can greatly reduce the disability resulting from a stroke.
ABOUT THE CENTURA HEALTH STROKE NETWORK OF CARE:
· The Centura Health Stroke Network is entrusted with nearly 6,000 acute stroke inpatients and recovering stroke outpatients every year.
· Quality compassionate care has earned the Centura Health Stroke Network several distinctions and awards including Comprehensive or Acute Primary Stroke Centers with the Joint Commission Seal of Approval for exceptional stroke care and The American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association Get With the Guidelines.
· The Centura Health Stroke Network has developed an exceptional team that consistently meets or exceeds national benchmarks for stroke treatment including performance measures such as complication rates, time to treatment, rate of delivering advanced treatment options, patient and family prevention and return to quality of life education relating to ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
- Centura Health’s Stroke Network represents six of the state’s eleven total certified stroke centers, with 30 years of combined certified years between our centers. Two of our six certified stroke centers are also comprehensive capable, meaning that advanced interventions can be performed to remove or dissolve the clot directly in the brain.
- All Centura Health entities have emergency room expertise for stabilizing care, neurology consultation, and a rapid, smooth transfer process in place, if needed, to the six stroke centers located throughout the state.
- CenturaConnect, our one-call system for referring physicians, helps coordinate telestroke quickly and efficiently, connecting rural hospitals to Colorado’s leading medical team.
- Through acute rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, and Centura Health at Home services, patients receive preventative care and rehabilitation services where they live, including patients in Colorado’s rural communities.
About Centura Health
Centura Health, Colorado’s health care leader, is focused on connecting Coloradans to affordable, world-class care in every corner of the state. Centura Health’s integrated statewide network includes 13 hospitals, seven senior living communities, medical clinics, affiliated partner hospitals, Flight For Life® Colorado, and home care and hospice services. Approximately 14,500 of the best hearts and minds in medicine, along with 6,000 physician partners, have access to the most technologically advanced tools available. For Coloradans, this means the top expertise and technology is right where you need it – close to where you are. We reach beyond hospital walls to connect with people at every stage of life to bring them life-enriching compassion and life-affirming hope. Connections that only Centura Health can make. For information on Centura Health or any of the facilities in our network, please visit www.centura.org.