The goals of this collaboration are to share knowledge between rural emergency departments and specialists at major medical centres; gain new insights into the continuum of care for stroke patients treated via telemedicine; streamline data collection for hospitals participating in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality programme and Joint Commission certification; support reimbursement by helping hospitals achieve Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommendations for stroke registry participation and; support reimbursement by helping hospitals collect stroke measures for the CMS Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) programme.
The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke programme, for which Outcome serves as the data collection and co-ordination centre and provides the Patient Management Tool application, is a continuous quality improvement initiative designed to track and improve outcomes for stroke patients. Over 1400 hospitals and thousands of physicians participating in the programme are able to compare their performance with national benchmarks for key elements of stroke care such as timeliness of diagnosis, use of thrombolytic therapy, and initiation of rehabilitation. Peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated significant improvement in composite care quality as a result of this programme.
As part of this collaboration, Reach Call will automatically integrate data collected from a stroke telemedicine consult into the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke registry. This integration will save customers time in both data collection and reporting, enhancing overall compliance with their quality initiatives. Reach's total solution includes a user-friendly interface with integrated decision support tools, automatic data collection, advanced video conferencing, and assistance in building and growing telemedicine networks.
"There is currently a discontinuity of information when tracking stroke patients throughout the continuum of care, and this problem is overwhelmingly seen in rural and underserved emergency departments", stated Dr. Richard Gliklich, President and CEO of Outcome. "This integration of programmes will enhance our ability to assess the full continuum of stroke care, identify opportunities for improvement, and increase the visibility of outcomes to clinical leaders, payers and patients. We look forward to working with Reach Call to integrate stroke telemedicine data into the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Programme to address this unmet medical need, which is expected to be exacerbated by the aging baby boomers and younger adults."
"We are excited about this partnership and the ability to help our customers simplify the operational complexities around stroke care: compliance, certification, and reimbursement", stated Sandeep Agate, CEO of Reach Call. "Collaborations like these are a win for everyone involved."
The American Heart Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations, including pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, and other companies also make donations and fund specific association programmes and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing science content.
Outcome is a provider of patient registries, studies, quality improvement programmes, and integrated technologies for evaluating real-world outcomes. Outcome provides services and technologies focused on evaluating the safety, effectiveness, and quality of health care products and services. The company has designed, developed, and managed more than 150 patient registries, including many of the largest and most well-recognized programmes for disease outcomes and patient safety. Outcome is a recognized expert in providing interoperability solutions linking electronic health record systems to research and quality reporting.
Outcome is also an AHRQ DEcIDE Research Center, a component of the "Effective Health Care" initiative sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Outcome was selected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to lead the effort to create the patient registries handbook "Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User's Guide", released in May 2007.
Reach Call is a full-service telemedicine application services provider dedicated to eliminating the geographical challenge associated with access to specialized care, bringing time-critical emergency care for diseases such as stroke close to home. Reach Call offers a convenient, web-based portal for secure, work flow-efficient consults, and seamless data collection and reporting to support outcome optimization, clinical trials, and national registries. Reach Call's account teams work intimately with customers to launch, grow, and sustain their telemedicine programmes. Reach Call was founded in March 2006 by Dr. David C. Hess and other experts at the Medical College of Georgia. Its patent-pending technology is the industry's leading web-based telestroke/telemedicine solution. More company news is available in the VMW September 2009 article Ochsner selects Reach Call for statewide telemedicine system to improve stroke care in urban and rural areas.