Rush University Medical Center Unveils Mobile Stroke Unit | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Rush University Medical Center Unveils Mobile Stroke Unit

October 31, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Rush University Medical Center in Chicago has unveiled a mobile stroke treatment unit that encompasses an ambulance outfitted with telemedicine technology and a CT scanner enabling brain imaging.

The event unveiling was at Rush Oak Park Hospital, where the mobile stroke treatment unit will be based. One of only a handful of specially designed and built units of its kind in the U.S., it will serve Illinois Region VII, which includes parts of the western suburbs, Rush officials stated. The mobile stroke unit brought to Rush Oak Park Hospital by the manufacturer, Excellence, is identical to one still being outfitted for Rush. It will be delivered in January.

“Presently patients cannot be treated for their stroke until they get to an emergency room. This new mobile stroke treatment unit will bring immediate stroke diagnosis and treatment to patients at their homes, or wherever they’re in need, which will improve their chances of a good recovery,” James Conners, M.D., medical director of the mobile stroke unit, said in a statement.

According to a Rush announcement, the mobile stroke treatment team will respond to 911 calls reporting symptoms indicating stroke along with a regular ambulance. If the paramedics determine the person did not have a stroke but has another medical problem, the mobile stroke unit will simply return to their base station. But, if a stroke is suspected, the team can perform CT scans of patients and using telemedicine, Rush stroke neurologists will evaluate the patients remotely and decide what kind of treatment is indicated.

At that point, the emergency medical technician and critical care nurse staffing the mobile unit will administer the appropriate stroke medication after conferring with the stroke neurologist at the same time they are transporting the patient to the most appropriate stroke center. The goal is to provide optimal treatment to stroke victims within the first "golden hour" after symptom onset, when it will do the most good, officials said.

"We know patients are up to four times more likely to have a good outcome if they are treated with tPA. Also, the sooner we treat patients, the more likely it is they will have minimal or even no disability,” Conners said. “With our standard process, it’s rare to be able to treat people within the first hour after onset, but with the mobile stroke unit we anticipate even better outcomes.”

The mobile stroke unit also will enhance treatment for patients who suffer from a hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or bursts. Those patients can’t receive tPA, which could be fatal to them, and need a different type of medication to stop their bleeding.

The hope is that the new program will capture 75 percent of strokes in the service area in time to deliver optimal treatment for all stroke patients, officials attested.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Study: 9 in 10 Clinicians to Use Mobile Devices at Bedside by 2022

A recent study indicates a rising adoption in clinical mobility in hospitals and clinicians increasingly see mobile devices as improving the quality of patient care and reducing medication administration errors.

AMGA Survey: Value-Based Care Driving C-Suite Compensation Incentives

A recent survey by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) of executive and leadership compensation reveals several trends, including that incentive compensation plays an important role in increases and value-based care is driving executive compensation incentives.

Set to Launch in May, All of Us Research Program Gets 15 New Engagement Partners

The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program now has 15 more community organizations and healthcare provider associations that have signed on to raise awareness about the program and its potential to advance precision medicine.

Report: Advanced Hacker Group, Orangeworm, Targeting Healthcare Industry

A new attack group, dubbed Orangeworm, is conducting targeted cyber attacks against healthcare organizations in the United States, Europe and Asia, according to a new report from researchers at cybersecurity firm Symantec.

EHR Capabilities Impact Patient Satisfaction Levels, Report Finds

Electronic health record (EHR) technology and the ways that providers use it to communicate with their colleagues and with patients is affecting how satisfied consumers are with their hospital organizations, according to a new Black Book market research.

A New Massachusetts Study Finds Consumers Slow to Make Use of Cost Estimate Tools

A new report has found that, even as health insurers in Massachusetts, under pressure to provide cost-estimating tools for their members, are giving them more information, plan members are still largely not taking advantage of new tools