GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), announced today, in collaboration with Saint Luke’s Neuroscience Institute (SLNI) in Kansas City, Mo., the first healthymagination care area validation for stroke. This distinction means that SNLI’s stroke program contributes to GE’s goal to improve access to and quality of healthcare by 15 percent. Evidence verified by external independent experts at Oxford Analytica shows that SNLI’s program for coordinated use of people, process and technology—its stroke solution—yields better patient outcomes. Through this validation, Saint Luke’s is designated this first healthymagination stroke solution site in the world. The SNLI Stroke Solution joins GE’s more than 60 innovations currently healthymagination validated.
To establish Saint Luke’s as a healthymagination solution site, GE Healthcare applied the same rigorous process it uses to validate its own innovations’ potential to improve quality of, increase access to or lower the cost of care. For this validation, the team evaluated treatment, access and outcomes among Saint Luke’s stroke patients compared to national benchmarks for other stroke centers and hospitals.
The SLNI Stroke Solution uses tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) therapy as a treatment. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is currently the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapy for acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Despite being widely available since 1996, it is still significantly underutilized. In 2009, tPA treatment rates were reportedly a meager 3.4 - 5.2 percent, though this represents a doubling since 20051. The validation process uncovered that SLNI Stroke Solution provided significantly improved treatment using tPA therapy, with rates three to six times higher than national averages.
Imaging is a critical step in accurate diagnosis of stroke. Saint Luke’s data showed that 99 percent of SNLI stroke patients undergo a CT scan to assess the patient compared to 60 percent at other U.S. community hospitals. This access to appropriate technology ensures no delays in diagnosis in an acute setting and hence appropriate and timely use of interventions, which when used earlier have been shown to lead to better patient outcomes.
St. Luke’s also implemented key programmatic initiatives to drive excellence in stroke care, including: extensive efforts to increase public and professional awareness and education; twenty-four-seven access to stroke expertise and technology for patients living within 150 miles of the Center; standardized order sets and care paths; interventional stroke reversal protocols to extend the treatment window; cutting-edge imaging; and much more. These initiatives increased access to treatment at SLNI—a primary certified stroke center—showing a 23 percent increase in patient volume from 2005-2010.
“Achieving superior outcomes after a stroke is dependent on timely treatment,” said Dr. Marilyn Rymer, Medical Director and Director of Research at the St. Luke’s Neuroscience Institute. “Our integrated environment—combining the right people, the right technology and the right process—is engineered to save valuable time and begin therapies as early as possible when they can be most effective. It’s this comprehensive approach to care that enables us to provide substantially better outcomes.”
The validation study further explored whether SNLI’s improvements and integrated environment resulted in a meaningful impact for stroke victims. The analysis focused on the most severe stroke patients who had failed or were ineligible for tPA therapy and thus were treated with mechanical embolectomy within the best interventional stroke centers across the U.S. The study found that among the most critical stroke patients, those treated at SLNI were more likely to have improved outcomes, such as being discharged to home, as compared to peer interventional stroke centers in the U.S.
“Stroke statistics are staggering,” said Dr. Gabrielle Silver, Head of Neuroscience Global Marketing at GE Healthcare. “One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime and stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability, globally. GE Healthcare will continue to work with leading institutions like St. Luke’s to identify innovative and replicable models of health care delivery as we work to increase access, improve quality and lower cost of healthcare by 15 percent by 2015.”
The validation evidence was presented to Oxford Analytica, the impartial third-party agency that manages the GE healthymagination validation process, for review by their independent network of 1,500 distinguished academics at leading universities and research firms. This validation established a framework for evaluating solutions, as defined by improvements across people, process and technology.
GE Healthcare has committed to validate 100 innovations by 2015. An innovation must meet the criteria established to reduce cost, increase access or improve quality by 15 percent to become healthymagination validated.
About Saint Luke's Health System
Saint Luke’s Neuroscience Institute is a member of Saint Luke's Health System, which consists of 11 area hospitals and many primary care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “Healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $16 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at gehealthcare.com.
1 Adeoye O, Hornung R, Khatri P, Kleindorfer D. Recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator use for ischemic stroke in the United States: a doubling of treatment rates over the course of 5 years. Stroke. Jul 2011;42(7):1952-1955.
Matt Tidwell, Saint Luke's Health System
P: 816-932-4894 / 913-220-6274 (mobile) - E: mtidewell[.]saint-lukes.org.
Verónica Botet, GE Healthcare
P: +34 629 085281 - E: veronica.botet[.]ge.com.