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New Center Links Stroke Patients With Care, Aims To Shrink Time Between Symptoms And Treatment

Allegheny Health Network's new Cerebrovascular Center will link stroke patients with virtual care for faster recovery.

The Allegheny Health Network is creating a new Cerebrovascular Center with the goal of making it easier for stroke victims to get access to treatment quickly.

Studies show that reducing the time between a stroke and treatment is one of the most important factors to a successful recovery.

The new center will offer a virtual collection of experts linked to all seven hospitals in the system. Center Director Ashis Tayal said treatment starts with a patient evaluation through telemedicine tools.

“They can image those patients to determine if they have a major blood clot in the brain and can determine who are those patients who should be transferred within the network because their strokes are so severe,” Tayal said.

Tayal said the center will also help to standardize treatment across all Allegheny Health Network facilities.

“It’s the development of high standards and rapid treatment, rapid evaluation of patients, that will benefit patients the most,” he said.

Stroke protocols have changed greatly in the last 18 months as catheter-based treatments have increasingly become the standard.

“They are highly effective treatments for the most severe forms of stroke,” Tayal said.  “And there’s a focus now on how to better deliver services across entire networks.”

He said they are calling it the Cerebrovascular Center, rather than the stroke center, because it will focus on all conditions impacting blood flow in the brain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 800,000 American suffer stokes each year.

(Photo via Nathanial Burton-Bradford/Flickr)