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Title: Victorian Stroke Telemedicine Project: implementation of a new model of translational stroke care for Australia
Austin Authors: Bladin, Christopher F;Molocijz, Natasha;Ermel, Sharan;Bagot, Kathleen L;Kilkenny, Monique F;Vu, Michelle;Cadilhac, Dominique A
Institutional Author: VST program investigators
Affiliation: Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Medical and Cognitive Research Unit, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Bendigo Health, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Translational Public Health Unit, Stroke and Ageing Research Centre, Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2015
Publication information: Internal Medicine Journal 2015; 45(9): 951-596
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Stroke telemedicine is widely used to treat patients with acute stroke in Europe and North America but is seldom used in Australia. The Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) programme aims to enhance acute stroke care in regional Australia. METHODS: Twelve-month pilot prospective, historical-controlled, implementation cohort study. Emergency Department (ED) at a large regional hospital in Victoria. Patients ≥ 18 years of age arriving < 4.5 h in the ED with a possible diagnosis of acute stroke. Telemedicine consultation by a Melbourne-based stroke specialist. Stroke thrombolysis rate, timelines for clinical processes, discharge outcomes. RESULTS: In the initial 12 month VST implementation, 62 patients arrived < 4.5 h of stroke onset (60% male; median age 75 years). Compared to pre-VST data (n = 58; 52% male; median age 77 years), stroke thrombolysis use increased from 17% to 26% (P = 0.26). Clinical process timelines improved including door to computed tomography time (reduced by 29 min, P = 0.006), and door to needle time (reduced by 21 min, P = 0.21). There was no significant increase in deaths (pre-VST 7% vs VST 10%), or symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage (n = 1 tPA patient). More patients who received tPA were discharged to home or rehabilitation (pre-VST 33% vs VST 80%, P = 0.02), with significantly fewer transfers to other acute care services. CONCLUSIONS: The VST pilot implementation provides evidence that telemedicine can enhance the quality of acute stroke care in a regional hospital. Expanding VST to 16 regional hospitals, Australia's largest telestroke programme, will allow for a more comprehensive clinical and economic analysis.
DOI: 10.1111/imj.12822
ORCID: 0000-0003-2895-4327
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Acute setting
Regional area
Stroke care
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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