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MaineHealth Telestroke Network

The MaineHealth Telestroke Network was established in 2015. Stroke experts from Maine Medical Center (MMC) provide emergency consults for stroke patients at partner hospitals 24/7. MMC is the first and only health care facility in Maine to earn distinction as a Comprehensive Stroke Center from the Joint Commission. We bring the expertise of top neurologists to community hospital emergency departments, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Using state-of-the-art videoconferencing equipment and electronic transfer of CT scans, the MaineHealth Telestroke Network gives community-based physicians timely access to consultations from specialists skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. The following hospitals participate in the Network:

For more information, please contact Brian Chipman RN, BSN, CRN at brian.chipman@mainehealth.org.

Telestroke is a way for specially-trained doctors to evaluate, diagnose, and make a treatment plan for patients at local hospitals where a stroke expert is not available. A Telestroke consultation uses two-way videoconferencing to connect you, your loved one and your local emergency department (ED) care team with a stroke expert at another hospital.

Why is Telestroke helpful in stroke care?

A stroke is an time-sensitive medical emergency. Every minute that circulation is obstructed to a portion of the brain results in 1.9 million neurons (brain cells) lost. If you are having a stroke, you need to be seen right away by a medical provider who specializes in stroke treatment. Many local hospitals do not have stroke experts on site but your local ED care team can work with a stroke expert from a different hospital through a Telestroke consultation. Access to specialists via Telestroke reduces the time to treatment decision, thereby saving brain cells. And, hospitals that participate in the Telestroke program have shown improvement in time to treatment, potentially saving neurons.

  • Did you know? Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the US, costing an estimated $34 billion each year.

What is a Telestroke consultation?

The stroke expert will assess you or your loved one using a two-way teleconferencing system to see and speak with you and your local ED care team. Together they will recommend the best care plan for you or your loved one. Your team may also suggest that you or your loved one should be moved to another hospital for more care.

What are the benefits of Telestroke?

Telestroke lets a stroke expert give you care quickly, even if they are not able to be there with you at the hospital. The care given through the Telestroke consultation will be the same type of care you would get from a stroke expert in person.

What are the risks of Telestroke?

There are no known or expected risks from taking part in a Telestroke consultation. The appointment will not be recorded and no photographs will be taken. The information shared during the consultation will be documented in the patient’s medical record.

MaineHealth Telestroke Network Outcomes at a Glance:

  • Average consult callback time is 3.5 minutes

  • Patients considered eligible for thrombolytic therapy (clot-busting medicine) at the time of consult request = 38%

  • Percentage of patients who receive thrombolytic = 47%

Telestroke consults by calendar year since program inception:

Telestroke Consults by Year 

 

Patients deemed initially eligible for thrombolytic therapy:

Thrombolytic Candidates 

 

Telestroke consults that resulted in thrombolytic therapy, by calendar year:

Thrombolytic being given. By calendar year 

 

Door to thrombolytic therapy median time:

This graph represents the span of time from arrival at hospital until thrombolytic (clot-busting medicine) is administered. This time span represents the primary benchmark we use to determine the quality of the Telestroke program. The median time goal was reduced in 2019 to 45 minutes from 60 minutes. We continue to show progress toward this goal.

Door to lytic time 

 

Thrombolytic-associated intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) for telestroke patients:

Thrombolytic complications include bleeding in the brain, also called intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). If a stroke patient has post-thrombolytic bleeding in the brain and it makes their condition worse, it is called a symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage.

  • 332 patients received thrombolytic
  • 49 patients (or 17%) had an asymptomatic post lytic ICH – also called a hemorrhagic transformation
  • 6 patients (or 1.8%) had a symptomatic post thrombolytic hemorrhage. This is lower than the national average.

For more information, please contact Brian Chipman RN, BSN, CRN at BChipman@mmc.org.

Data Source: Telestroke REDCap Database, CAO: 11/23/21