Cumbria and Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network (CSNLC)

At a Glance

  • Constant communication network keeps specialists,
  • Improved survival, recovery rate through remote
  • Visibility of remote patients by specialists aids
  • Connectivity to laptops and personal devices

English health network uses video for time critical diagnostic consultation and applied treatment for cardiac and stroke patients.

Eight English hospitals save lives by utilizing health video communications network for time critical diagnostic consultation and applied treatment for cardiac and stroke patients.

Polycom RealPresence video collaboration solutions are renowned worldwide for helping organizations save time and money.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) Cumbria & Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network (CSNLC) is also using it to save lives.

CSNLC is using Polycom enabled healthcare carts with Polycom video collaboration software for laptops, to connect patients with remote doctors during the early stage of a stroke, when intervention is most critical. CSNLC is using the mobile healthcare carts in six acute trusts in Cumbria and Lancashire, and has the video collaboration software running on laptops in the homes of each consulting physician.

It was CSNLC’s need for an around-the-clock stroke service that drove the project. The combined NHS trusts in Lancashire & Cumbria selected Polycom RealPresence high-definition video solutions to be part of its new, state-of-the-art "telestroke" service.  The service began in July 2011 and has already benefited 26 stroke patients in Cumbria and Lancashire by providing them access to thrombolysis treatment around the clock.

"In addition to huge patient benefits, the service is anticipated to save the Lancashire & Cumbria NHS trusts more than £8 million (over US$12 million) a year," says CSNLC Director Kathy Blacker.

The Polycom video collaboration solutions are helping patients receive face-to-face access to expert specialist care whenever they need it...and regardless of the location of the patients or the consulting doctors.

Fifteen consultant stroke physicians are on call from home to cover the service out of hours and to support clinicians in each of the eight participating hospitals, which serve approximately 2.2 million people across the region. These stroke physicians use Polycom videoconferencing software to connect to any of the six hospitals by way of a Polycom enabled healthcare cart at the patient's bedside.

Controlling a camera remotely, the specialist can view in detail a clinical examination performed at a bedside by a clinician. This results in more effective and productive use of scarce medical expertise by video. It also leads to patients receiving treatment more quickly and experiencing better outcomes from their treatment.

The CSNLC reviewed the requirements for the area and considered all options. It then selected MultiSense Communications, a Polycom healthcare solution provider, to deploy the Polycom video solutions. It also chose other key technology partners, including Virgin Media and Imerja, to support the service. Funding was made available by the NHS to cover the cost of the equipment, which included high-speed broadband technology for remotely connecting eight Polycom enabled healthcare carts to each of the eight hospitals.

Dr. Mark O'Donnell serves as stroke consultant at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and as clinical lead for the CSNLC.

"If a patient arrives in hospital with a stroke, outside the normal working day, a Telestroke consultation will then be commenced,” he says. The Polycom enabled healthcare cart contains a screen so the patient can see the consultant remotely and a camera for the consultant to view the patient. The consultant is then able to perform an examination with the help of the team in the hospital, to decide whether the symptoms experienced are due to a stroke and whether thrombolysis (the use of drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots) treatment is appropriate.

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