Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is a not-for-profit health system operating 14 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, Martin, McDowell, Middlesboro, Paintsville, Prestonsburg, West Liberty, Whitesburg, and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs more than 6,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and the single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third-largest private employer in southern West Virginia.
ARH, like many healthcare systems, faced a common problem. With the shortage of neurologists across the country, ARH had one neurologist serving multiple locations including local rural areas. He was relying on nurse practitioners at each site to relay stroke patient information.
To ensure time-critical diagnosis, ARH realized they needed a cost-effective telestroke cart that would provide expert-level of care from the neurologist for all locations. The rollout of a telestroke cart as part of the teleneurology program hinged on the affordability and usability of the solution.
ARH partnered with Carousel Industries to design a telestroke cart solution that solved their immediate need, but also could expand to other uses with their healthcare system. They first reviewed the telehealth cart from Poly, but the price point was outside their budget. Carousel then reached out to Avteq to design the telestroke solution using the TMP-200 telemedicine cart.
With its small footprint and well-designed features, the TMP-200 was the ideal choice for ARH. The solution includes the Poly Studio X50 accessing Zoom wirelessly. The slide-out draw provides easy access to stethoscopes and other devices required for a patient exam and diagnosis. The backup battery provides the needed power for hours of exams. In addition, the TMP-200 also provides a sustainable and reliable backbone for future growth and use case.
The initial rollout included 10 telestroke carts installed at 10 hospitals within the ARH healthcare network. The telestroke program allows ARH to provide critical diagnosis treatment, such as clot-dissolving drugs (thrombolytics) used to treat the most common type of stroke. These carts helped ARH continue its rapid advancement of cutting-edge neuroscience care.
In less than one year, ARH’s hospitals have earned Acute Stroke Ready certifications, affirming the hospitals’ readiness to handle stroke and stroke-related medical problems. Since the initial rollout, ARH has implemented over 50 telestroke carts into its program.
As ARH continues to expand its healthcare service throughout Kentuck and West Virginia, it plans on implementing telemedicine carts at schools and rural clinics for general exams.