UMass Memorial and Brain Saving Technologies Bring Stroke Care to Local Hospitals -- Patients Now Able to Receive Care Close to Home

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A collaborative effort among UMass Memorial Medical Center, Brain Saving Technologies (BST) of Wellesley Hills and five community hospitals is bringing the highest level of stroke care to emergency room patients without them having to travel far from home.

A collaborative effort among UMass Memorial Medical Center, Brain Saving Technologies (BST) of Wellesley Hills and five community hospitals is bringing the highest level of stroke care to emergency room patients without them having to travel far from home.

Wing Memorial Hospital (Palmer, MA), Heywood Hospital (Gardner, MA), Clinton Hospital (Clinton, MA), Health Alliance Hospital (Leominster, MA), and Athol Memorial Hospital (Athol, MA) are now designated as Primary Stroke Services Centers by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This designation is made possible by the sharing of physicians and technology via an advanced digital video medicine service provided by BST.

“These community hospitals have recognized the incredible need within their communities for fast, effective treatment of stroke,” stated Dr. Colin T. McDonald, founder, chief executive officer and chief medical officer of BST. “The addition of this advanced technology and 24/7 real-time access to neuro critical care specialists provides this network of community hospitals with the resources to meet the state’s recently enacted Primary Stroke Service criteria.”

“Without this service, ambulances and patients with any stroke symptom have to travel farther distances for care,” says Marc Fisher, MD, director of the UMass Memorial Stroke Program. “We will be able to provide rapid, effective treatment of stroke patients and help address the shortage of neuro critical care experts.”

The video monitoring system, also called a telemedicine system, enables on-call neurologists with expertise in stroke diagnosis and management at UMass Memorial and BST to examine and talk to an emergency patient or his/her family as well as the doctor in real time at the community hospital. A mobile unit in the community hospital’s emergency department is wheeled bedside so that the doctors can see the patient and make a diagnosis.

Both the emergency room physician and neurologist also can view CT scans, enabling them to work collaboratively throughout the patient care process. Once a diagnosis is made, the doctors decide on the most effective treatment plan hoping to lessen the symptoms and outcomes of the stroke, quickly. UMass Memorial doctors assist in assessment, diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. In 2005, Americans will pay about $57 billion for stroke-related medical costs and disability. It is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability.

About UMass Memorial

UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with 1,500 physicians and more than 12,000 employees.

Our comprehensive network of care includes teaching hospitals, affiliated community hospitals, outpatient clinics, community-based physician practices, long-term care facilities, and home health, hospice, rehabilitation and mental health services. UMass Memorial is dedicated to promoting health and wellness in the community, and is proud to be the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

About Brain Saving Technologies

Brain Saving Technologies (BST) is committed to improving the care of stroke patients by providing advanced telemedicine and the highest quality consultation services connecting physicians with neuro critical care experts, 24/7. Founded and led by physician’s intent on improving the treatment and outcome of stroke, BST is responding to a national healthcare crisis -- the need for rapid, effective treatment of stroke patients and the shortage of neuro critical care experts. BST affiliates utilize telemedicine to link doctors to expert physicians at regional neuro critical care centers, known as Neuro-TeleMD Consortiums. Brain Saving Technologies is headquartered in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. For further information, contact Kathleen Plath at 781-239-7580 or at plath@brainsavingtech.com.

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Kathleen Plath