Allen County Regional Hospital—in partnership with Research Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—announces the launch of its innovative Telestroke program. The program is a form of telemedicine that provides Allen County Regional Hospital patients with enhanced in-house stroke care close to home and 24-hour access to Research Medical Center’s specialized stroke experts.

Using the Telestroke system, Allen County Regional can consult—via a two-way live video, audio and image sharing system—with stroke neurologists from Research Medical Center. Those experts can then evaluate an Allen County Regional Hospital patient in real time to diagnose a stroke and determine the best course of action.

“This collaboration with the outstanding medical staff at Research Medical Center will help save lives and preserve brain function, crucial when someone suffers a stroke,” says Marion “Tony” Thompson, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer. “Telestroke aligns with our commitment to provide high-quality, compassionate healthcare to patients, close to home.”

“During a stroke, time is of the essence, because time lost is brain lost,” says Patty McGuffin, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer, Allen County Regional Hospital. “Research Medical Center’s Telestroke network provides on-demand access to stroke experts within minutes of entering our emergency room, thus reducing time before treatment is initiated.” 

The collaboration brings together innovative Telestroke equipment and specialized care from Research Medical Center’s award-winning stroke center, which holds a Level One Center Designation from the Missouri Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) Designation.  The highest level awarded, the hospital functions as a primary resource center within the region, maintaining specialized resources for the most complex patients.  In addition, Research Medical Center is a Get With The Guidelines® Target Stroke Elite hospital, the highest award from the American Heart and Stroke Association.  Research Medical Center was the first hospital in the region to hold Elite status, which means patients get t-PA, the clot-busting drug, within 60 minutes more than 75 percent of the time.  Research Medical Center is a Joint Commission Accredited Stroke Center.

Together, Allen County Regional Hospital and Research Medical Center will provide quality care to stroke patients and follow national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. As part of the Telestroke partnership, Allen County Regional Hospital stroke patients will have streamlined access to Research Medical Center when needed for advanced care as well as the other stroke-accredited HCA Midwest Health hospitals, including Centerpoint Regional Medical Center, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, and Overland Park Regional Medical Center. 

“We are committed to enhancing healthcare in the community and strive to keep Allen County Regional Hospital patients close to home whenever possible,” says Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum, Chief Executive Officer, Research Medical Center.  “It’s comforting for patients, family and staff to know specialized care is available at Research Medical Center, when necessary.” 

“Research Medical Center is proud to deliver world-class technology and neurological resources through the Telestroke program to Allen County Regional Hospital patients,” says Iftekahr Ahmed, M.D., and Medical Director of The Stroke Care Center at Research Medical Center. “It’s an important collaboration that will help people suffering from stroke.”

For more information, visit hcamidwest.com/stroke.