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Expanding Life-Saving Care for Stroke Victims

News Release

Expanding Life-Saving Care for Stroke Victims

Ontario Using Technology to Improve Patient Care and Value for Health Dollars

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Stroke victims across Ontario can now benefit from life-saving, emergency care through eHealth Ontario's Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System.

Through a partnership between the Ontario Telemedicine Network and eHealth Ontario, the Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System -- currently used for head trauma victims -- is expanding to provide 24/7 access to expert care for stroke patients.

Doctors in acute care hospitals across the province, regardless of size or location, now have the capability to hold virtual consultations and get expert advice from the Ontario Telemedicine Network's neuro-specialists. The system allows them to electronically share brain images, such as MRIs and CT scans, to determine the best course of treatment.

This enhancement will help doctors make faster diagnosis, such as determining whether a patient is a candidate for the clot-busting drug t-PA, which is effective if administered shortly after a stroke. It will also help physicians determine if patient transfers to specialized urban hospitals are necessary, which will help to get better value for health dollars.

Improving access to life-saving emergency care for stroke victims is part of Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This supports the government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System has been used since 2009 for head trauma victims, and has already proven to help provide more accurate and faster patient care.
  • Sixteen thousand people will experience a stroke in Ontario each year, at a cost of nearly $1 billion to the economy in medical and indirect costs.
  • All 97 acute care hospitals in Ontario are live with the Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System.
  • Today, two out of three Ontarians are covered by an Electronic Health Record (EHR) and seven out of 10 family physicians use an EHRs in their practice.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Quotes

Deb Matthews

“Early diagnosis and treatment for stroke victims is crucial. That’s why getting stroke patients faster access to neurologists through this system is a major milestone for improving patient care in Ontario. This is another example of how we are providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“London Health Sciences Centre is pleased to have worked with Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) CritiCall Ontario, and eHealth Ontario, to expand ENITS to include stroke consultation. By connecting physicians through ENTIS, scans can now be reviewed remotely by neuro specialists and stroke patients will ultimately be provided with timely access to a neurologist consultation regardless of where they are physically located.”

Murray Glendining

Acting President and CEO, London Health Sciences Centre

“At the Ontario Telemedicine Network, we are proud to work with our health system partners and health care providers to deliver faster and better access to critical care. Telestroke is a dramatic example of how providers can use telemedicine to improve outcomes and save lives.”

Ed Brown

CEO Ontario Telemedicine Network

“This partnership provides immediate care in stroke intervention where timing is critical. Patients will no longer have to incur the stress or the province the expense of land or air ambulance travel. And with t-PA drug therapy patients can avoid costly rehabilitation.”

Sime Pavlovic

V-P Clinical Data Management Services, eHealth Ontario

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