University of Maryland Medical Center Teams Up With Carroll Hospital Center on Tele-Stroke Program
For immediate release: March 04, 2015
Remote Consultation by University of Maryland School of Medicine Faculty Provides Immediate Academic Medical Center Expertise
BALTIMORE – Carroll Hospital Center physicians will now have 24/7 remote access to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s (UMMC) Brain Attack Team through a new telemedicine service for stroke patients, the hospitals announced today. The tele-stroke program allows Carroll Hospital Center physicians to consult with University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty specialists through innovative technology including secure video cameras and real-time sharing of medical data.
As part of the program, a member of the UMMC Brain Attack Team will be available 24/7 for consultations on stroke patients presenting at Carroll Hospital Center. Consultations, which previously occurred via telephone, have now evolved to videoconference when warranted. Radiology images and laboratory reports can be shared seamlessly between the hospitals and, using video cameras, University of Maryland physicians can perform remote examinations on patients across the miles, with a precision approximating being in the same location.
“With early intervention, the long-term effects of a stroke can be minimized,” says Barney J. Stern, MD, the Stewart J. Greenebaum Endowed Professor of Stroke Neurology and Interim Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at UMMC. “Identifying the appropriate treatment for each case can be a complex process and, unfortunately, stroke patients do not have the luxury of time on their side.”
“When it comes to stroke care, minutes matter. Having experts readily available for consultations when needed ensures the best possible outcomes for our patients,” says Sandra Ruby, MD, medical director of Carroll Hospital Center’s Stroke Program.
Typical treatments for stroke include a clot-busting drug — which can be administered intravenously up to 4.5 hours after an ischemic stroke occurs — as well as catheter-guided arterial recanalization to clear blood vessels in the brain of oxygen-depriving clots. Some patients may have contraindications or need advanced management; in such situations, the expertise available via the tele-stroke program can guide in the decision-making process. If needed, the most complex cases can be transferred to UMMC for further intervention and treatment in the UMMC Comprehensive Stroke Center setting.
UMMC is among an elite group of medical institutions to be designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies hospitals and sets health care standards. Fewer than 70 stroke centers in the United States have been awarded the designation.
“Programs such as this empower community hospitals to provide the necessary care to patients close to their homes,” says Marc. T. Zubrow, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Vice President of Telemedicine for the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). “In the current health care environment, it’s crucial to provide the best possible patient care in the most efficient and cost-effective way. By reducing the number of patients that need to be transferred to Baltimore, we keep the right patients in the right place at the right time,” adds Dr. Zubrow.
“Telemedicine offers another layer of care for our stroke patients, so that we may provide quality treatment in a timely manner," says Drewry White, MD, chief of emergency medicine at Carroll Hospital Center.
The tele-stroke program builds upon the foundation established by University of Maryland eCare, which serves 11 hospitals throughout Maryland by providing remote intensive care services via telemedicine. The University of Maryland Medical System’s “tele-ICU” program allows intensivists and critical care nurses based at UMMC to monitor patients in remote ICUs during night and weekend hours from a central operations hub in Baltimore, providing a virtual safety net for smaller hospitals around the State.
About Carroll Hospital Center
Carroll Hospital Center is a nonprofit, acute care facility offering the latest in medical technology, experienced medical professionals in a variety of specialties and a continuum of programs and services to meet the needs of the community.
About the University of Maryland Medical Center
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospitals in Baltimore: an 800-bed teaching hospital – the flagship institution of the 12-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) – and a 200-bed community teaching hospital, UMMC Midtown Campus. UMMC is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, diabetes and endocrinology, women's and children's health and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the flagship hospital are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At UMMC Midtown Campus, faculty physicians work alongside community physicians to provide patients with the highest quality care. UMMC Midtown Campus was founded in 1881 and is located one mile away from the University Campus hospital.