The Marcus Stroke Network, a collaboration of Grady Health System, Emory University School of Medicine, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, will work to develop life-saving strategies in stroke care and serve as a model for a region affected by strokes at disproportionate rates. To that end, the network will use innovative telemedicine technology to accelerate early and definitive stroke treatment; establish the region's first mobile stroke unit and initiate a new direct "ambulance to angiography" approach; support paramedics providing pre-hospital care to help with the diagnosis and triaging of stroke patients; and enhance the quality of care at participating network hospitals through a regional coordinated stroke system of care. In addition, vascular neurologists and other medical professionals at Emory and Grady will provide real-time stroke guidance to emergency medicine doctors at remote sites across the region, helping make diagnoses and treatment recommendations for patients who have had acute strokes.
Guided by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, the network will focus on the provision of timely, accurate, and evidence-based care to stroke patients. In addition, the network's mobile unit will operate through Grady's EMS system, linking network doctors directly to patients in the field through an on-board CT scanner and facilitating the most rapid treatment possible with alteplase — a drug that treats side effects caused by arterial clots — for eligible patients.
"This aggressive, action-focused program is a unique decision-support system driven by technology, real-time outcomes, and scalable solutions," said Marcus Stroke Network director Michael Frankel, professor and director of vascular neurology at the Emory's School of Medicine. "Using a sophisticated telemedicine platform, our goal is to extend the vast experience and proven expertise of our stroke specialists to participating network hospitals, giving each and every stroke patient in the areas serviced by our network partners the best chance of survival and living an independent quality of life."