The Telemedicine project for neurological care (telestroke), based on MEDTING platform and a videoconferencing system, from the Hospital Vall d’Hebron, has been awarded in the second edition of Quality Awards 2007 from the National Spanish Ministry of Health  in category of ‘Awards for best clinical practice. ”

Quality Awards from the Ministry of Health are designed to reward institutions, schools, teams, groups and health services have been meaning to the activities of improvement in the quality of services offered to citizens, and recognize the initiatives to improve the quality of healthcare through innovative projects.

Driven by the Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya and I2CAT Foundation, with support from the Foundation TicSalut, Telestroke project aims at improving the treatment of stroke that requires urgent attention of neurologists to reduce the side effects of the disease and that in Catalonia causes 9.2% of overall mortality (7.5% in men, 11 1% in women).

The initiative makes possible to offer neurological service remotely to hospitals that do not have such a department. The connection of reference hospitals to the remote / rural hospital allows the neurologist’s referral center to visualize, in real time, the radiological image of the patient and to assess and identify
appropriate therapies to patients during the early hours the acute phase of cerebral stroke.

Initial Phase: Connecting Vic and Vall d’Hebron

The project started in January 2007 between the Vall d’Hebron Hospital and the Hospital of Vic, by using a videoconferencing system between the two centers, a neurologist the Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron
is allowed to review the clinical data of a patient at Vic hospital suffering from stroke in acute phase. The neurologist has all the data and diagnostic tests and interacts with the patient through the image and voice.

The cerebral stroke is a disease of sudden onset that immediate intervention is essential to avoid serious consequences, such as disability or dementia. The sooner the thrombolytic treatment is administered, the optimum time is a maximum of three hours, it may be more beneficial to the person concerned. The most important risk factors include hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, dyslipidemia and coronary heart disease.

In the telestroke project, the neurologist of Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron can view the patient at the Vic Hospital in real time, and their radiological images, and applied for thrombolytic therapy immediately
if it is shown, thus avoiding a move that may prove detrimental to the sick person. Telestroke project has been applied in 91 cases.

Extension: More equity and accessibility to health care

Telestroke project involves a process of technological innovation and horizontal integration between hospitals and the momentum of networking and is aimed at improving patient outcomes of care. The initiative also improves the fairness of health provision and access of citizens to health services.

Under the Plan for Cerebral Vascular Disease (PDMVC) of the Department of Health, Telestroke strategy and technology platform is the way for treating stroke in its acute phase, along the Catalonia region.

In such an extension, the platform has incorporated MEDTING as a mechanism for structure, store and share the clinical case as well as MIO (Medical Images Organiser) tool from C2C for automatic transmission of CT images. MEDTING enables the exchange and discussion of the case in asynchronous manner, streamlining communication and reducing costs when no online communication is required.

Figure: The combination of MIO and Medting make possible the One Click Telemedicine.

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One Response to Telestroke project in Catalonia receives National Quality Award from the Ministry of Health

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