August was an exciting time for PPMC’s Primary Stroke Service team, as they welcomed new faculty members, celebrated awards, and rolled-out advanced services that provide superior care to stroke patients.
On August 1, the PPMC Neurology and Primary Stroke teams welcomed Claude Nguyen, MD, an expert in acute stroke treatment, telemedicine and vascular neurology. Dr. Nguyen is a clinical specialist serving as the director of stroke services at PPMC. In his new role he will work to develop the neuroscience services on the PPMC campus. He joins the expert care provided by department chief Sami Khella, MD, and Maria Chen, MD, also new to the neurology team.
Also in August, the Primary Stroke Team was presented with the Get with the Guidelines Bronze Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The award recognizes PPMC’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients. To receive the award, PPMC treated stroke patients with above 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care for at least 90 days. Get with the Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for stroke patients to prevent future hospitalizations and decrease mortality.
Finally, last month PPMC’s Emergency Department rolled-out advanced stroke services when it connected to live, remote access to the full Penn Neuro Rescue team 24/7 via telemedicine. The telemedicine component of the Penn Neuro Rescue program provides comprehensive neurovascular expertise through live, remote consults between the PPMC ED and Penn Neuro Rescue teams.
“Telemedicine is an effective way to augment the already excellent stroke care provided to patients with stroke-like symptoms in our ED,” said John Flamma, MD, chief of Emergency Medicine at PPMC. “This new partnership with our colleagues in the Neuro Rescue program will ensure that our patients will continue receiving the level of care they need at all times.“
Under the structure of the new program, patients will be evaluated in the PPMC ED in consultation with Penn Neuro Rescue experts at HUP. They will assess if the patient would benefit from treatments available at HUP’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. In most cases the patient will stay at PPMC where they will receive the high standard of care provided bythe Primary Stroke Center.
“I am very excited to join such a talented group of faculty and staff at Penn Presbyterian, and to continue expanding our stroke program,” says Dr. Nguyen. “With such tools as telemedicine being rolled-out, we will be able to ensure that stroke care at PPMC remains at the same high standard as the rest of the Penn Medicine system. Over time, I hope we will be able to offer clinical trials and other advancements and technologies to our stroke patients.”