ATLANTA – Jan 12, 2015 – Stroke remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA), a clot-dissolving drug, can be used to treat many patients suffering from the most common form of stroke, known as Acute Ischemic Stroke. While the national average administration rate for tPA is reported to be under 10 percent, telestroke networks using the REACH Access enterprise telemedicine platform have achieved an average tPA administration rate of nearly 35 percent, based on industry standard clinical performance measures.

“We are very encouraged by the results being achieved by our clients,” said Steve McGraw, President and CEO of REACH Health. “We believe that the advanced clinical workflow in REACH Access enhances remote collaboration and enables faster and more accurate clinical diagnoses. Unlike first-generation telemedicine solutions that are reported to achieve tPA administration rates hovering near 20 percent, our next-generation approach to telemedicine, based on workflow-facilitated consultations, is raising the bar in terms of results and outcomes. REACH Access clients have achieved an average tPA administration rate of 34.6 percent over the last two years. We believe these represent some of the highest tPA administration rates in stroke treatment today.”

Ischemic Stroke occurs when a clot obstructs an artery that supplies blood to the brain. When tPA is administered, stroke patients can experience profoundly improved outcomes, such as a better quality of life, lower rates of disability and improved prospects for rehabilitation. But making a correct diagnosis is critical, as tPA typically must be administered within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms but should not be administered to patients at risk for cerebral hemorrhage. The REACH Access platform enables emergency department physicians to conduct joint examinations with experienced neurologists, delivering the critical patient information and clinical images needed by neurologists to make the correct tPA recommendation. REACH Access also captures valuable data, including time spent in different phases of a stroke consult and overall door-to-needle time, to help hospitals further improve performance.

“When we began to establish our telestroke network, South Carolina was facing a cruel reality in stroke care: if a stroke patient was taken to a rural hospital that could not rapidly assess and treat the patient with tPA, that patient was very unlikely to receive the drug due to the length of time required for transfer to a stroke center,” said Dr. Robert Adams, University Eminent Scholar at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Director, South Carolina Stroke Network and REACH MUSC. “Today, our telestroke network based on REACH Access has grown to include 15 spoke partner hospitals, and we will soon help to ensure that greater than 90 percent of the population of South Carolina is within 60 minutes of expert stroke care.”

McGraw concluded, “The results achieved with REACH Access in the treatment of Stroke highlight the value of a telemedicine solution enabled with context-aware workflow that facilitates clinically guided consults. This unique approach used in our telestroke solution has also been used to design our solutions for telepsychiatry, telecardiology, telepediatrics and others. We expect to see similar results as these are broadly deployed.”

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