Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience (JHN) is launching the Jefferson Neuroscience Network (JNN) to promote collaboration among area hospitals to advance neuroscience care throughout the region. Chestnut Hill Hospital is the first hospital to join JNN. Through this collaboration, Jefferson and Chestnut Hill will provide the most sophisticated care and expertise available to patients with time-sensitive neurovascular diseases. By joining this network, Chestnut Hill Hospital patients will have access to: the latest clinical protocols and trials available; community education programs; priority transfers for acutely ill patients to JHN; and Jefferson Expert Teleconsulting (JET), the region’s first university-based, high-tech mobile robotic system for neuroscience.
‘Time is Brain’
‘Time is brain’ is the credo among healthcare professionals for diagnosing and treating time-sensitive neurovascular diseases, including arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), brain aneurysms and, especially, stroke. Certain drugs for stroke must be administered within 4.5 hours for best chance of functional recovery. Timely performance of neurological procedures to repair AVMs and aneurysms are similarly urgent. Yet many community hospitals have limited access to the specialists and technology to diagnose and treat patients quickly and accurately.
JET Provides 24/7 Access
Jefferson Expert Teleconsulting (JET) provides network hospitals with 24/7 access to vascular neurologists and neurosurgeons for emergency consultative services. The primary goal of this program is to compliment the care provided by community neurologists and/or emergency physicians to those patients presenting with symptoms of a stroke. At the request of the community hospital physician(s), a Jefferson neurovascular specialist will “beam in” via a robot placed in the network hospital emergency department. After consultation with the patient and/or family, the physicians will determine the best treatment option for the patient. The goal is to keep the patient at the community hospital. If the prescribed treatment is unavailable at the community hospital, the patient and/or family, in discussion with the physicians, may decide to transfer the patient to Jefferson or to another facility with the clinical expertise and resources to properly treat the patient.
“JET places all of our resources – among them, vascular neurologists, dual-trained neurosurgeons, advanced technology and leading clinical trials in which we partner with the National Institutes of Health – at the disposal of patients, their families and physicians in need of a first or second expert opinion,” said Robert H. Rosenwasser, M.D., Jewell L. Osterholm, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and co-director of the Stroke Program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. “Its greatest value is for timely diagnosis and application of treatment for time-sensitive neurovascular diseases, especially stroke. Given its prevalence, it is alarming how few people receive treatment in the appropriate amount of time.”
“Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States but the leading cause of disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year,” said Rodney Bell, M.D., neurologist and co-director of the Jefferson Stroke Center . “With JET, even hospitals in remote areas can provide patients with expert consultation and delivery of appropriate care from an experienced neurologist or neurological surgeon immediately in cases where every minute can make a critical difference.”
How JET Works
Participating hospitals are supplied with a mobile robotic platform manufactured by InTouch Health® that enables the JHN physician to be remotely present. JET’s panoramic visualization system and control interface allow physicians, patients and hospital staff a safe, secure and interactive experience. The JHN physician can view CT scans and lab results remotely, and, with the assistance of the community hospital staff, utilize certain digital medical devices such as digital stethoscopes and otoscopes which can be connected directly to the robot.
If a patient arrives at a participating hospital and does not have a neurologist or neurosurgeon available, or has a neurologist who needs to consult with a stroke specialist, the attending physician contacts JHN. The JHN specialist on call then uses a laptop to connect to the remote hospital via the robot, obtains a medical history by speaking directly with the patient and/or family members, examines the patient and, in consultation with the attending physician, determines what therapy is immediately needed, in real time, without delay. Finally, a decision is made to either admit the patient to the local hospital’s Critical Care Unit or to transfer him/her to Jefferson or to another facility with the clinical expertise and resources to properly treat the patient.
JHN is the region’s only dedicated hospital for neuroscience and leading, most experienced and comprehensive center for diagnosis and treatment of stroke and cerebrovascular disease. The Jefferson Acute Stroke Center is the largest such facility, with more board-certified neurocritical care physicians, neurovascular neurologists and dual-trained neurosurgeons than any other center in the Delaware Valley . It is also a Joint Commission-accredited primary stroke center.