ATLANTA and BOSTON, May 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has successfully expanded its TeleNet Stroke service to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth (BID-Plymouth). Stroke patients in Plymouth now have lifesaving access to BIDMC-based stroke specialists via a telemedicine network powered by REACH Health, Inc.
"When a patient suffers a stroke, he or she loses an increasing number of brain cells as time passes," said BID-Plymouth Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. Mark DeMatteo. "People who live in and around Plymouth may now receive the very same level of care available in our flagship BIDMC facility in Boston."
Ischemic stroke, the most common of the three stroke varieties, occurs when a clot obstructs an artery which supplies blood to the brain. The oxygen-deprived brain cells begin to die at a rate of roughly two million per minute, and the longer the clot obstructs blood flow, the more serious the physiological impacts, such as impaired speech and paralysis. In many instances, administering a clot-dissolving drug, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), can save the patient's life or dramatically reduce the severity of the symptoms.
"With stroke, it's absolutely critical to render a fast, accurate diagnosis, enabling prompt treatment and the best possible outcome for the patient," said Steve McGraw, President and CEO of REACH Health. "Our telestroke template guides the clinicians step by step through the same examination process they would use if they were treating the patient in person."
BID-Plymouth leveraged the telestroke network on the very day the program went live. A patient was admitted to the emergency department with stroke-like symptoms and was evaluated using the telestroke network. Thanks to the teamwork between the local EMS, emergency department nurses, imaging technician, attending physician and consulting neurologist, the patient was diagnosed with ischemic stroke and given tPA.
"Within seconds – literally – we watched his symptoms begin to resolve," said attending emergency department physician Dr. Gary Cole. "It was as close to a 'miracle' as I feel I will ever experience."
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide.
BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Health Care, Commonwealth Hematology-Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance, and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Senior Life and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth is a not-for-profit organization serving 12 towns in Plymouth and Barnstable Counties. BID-Plymouth is part of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center family of hospitals. Established in 1901 as Jordan Hospital, BID-Plymouth is a full-service, 155-bed acute care community hospital accredited by The Joint Commission, the College of American Pathologists, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. www.bidplymouth.org
About REACH Health
REACH Health technology powers many of the nation's most successful telemedicine networks, helping health systems achieve measurable improvements in their clinical, operational and financial performance. REACH Health's enterprise telemedicine software combines real-time audio/video technology with vital patient data, clinical workflow and documentation to overcome the traditional obstacles of time and distance. By securely connecting physicians anytime, anywhere, REACH Health technology enables remote consultations, connects patients with specialists, and supports collaboration by clinical care teams. Physicians and clinicians embrace the ease of use of a single, intuitive platform tailored to multiple specialties. REACH Health pioneered one of the nation's first telestroke programs and remains the innovation leader, providing the most advanced clinical solutions to improve patient access and care. For more information, visit www.reachhealth.com.
Andrew Saluke (for REACH Health)
Chris Smalley (for BID-Plymouth)
CONTACT: Andrew Saluke (for REACH Health) firstname.lastname@example.org 678-436-8224