Improving Stroke Patient Outcomes and Lowering Costs—Clinical and Operational Solutions with Advanced CT Imaging
Stroke accounts for approximately one out of every 18 deaths in the United States, according to the American Heart Association, and is the fourth most common cause of death. Stroke is also the single greatest cause of disability. More than 780,000 strokes occur annually. With three-fourths of strokes occurring in people over 65 and it being such a widespread event, the cost of treating stroke is astronomical, estimated at about $73 billion in the U.S., including both treatment costs and disability.
Today’s top hospitals and stroke centers use the latest CT technology, such as Toshiba’s Aquilion™ ONE and Aquilion ONE ViSION Edition, to diagnose stroke and treat patients faster than ever before. With clinical and operational solutions that make work flow, the Aquilion ONE covers up to 16 cm of anatomy using 320 ultra-high-resolution 0.5 mm detector elements that produce 640 slices to image an entire organ, including the brain, in a single rotation. It can show the brain’s dynamic blood flow and real-time function, which is crucial for stroke patients and enables rapid and accurate diagnosis when time is critical.
Toshiba’s technology has offered healthcare providers solutions to prepare for episode-based care by effectively utilizing patient-focused imaging technology and a multidisciplinary collaborative treatment approach. One such example is Toshiba’s partnership with Kaleida Health’s Stroke Care Center (SCC) at the Gates Vascular Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., to diagnose acute stroke using Toshiba’s Aquilion ONE CT system. The SCC is a modern acute care center offering a full range of medical and surgical services, including world-class neurological and stroke care. The neuro-radiology department has integrated Toshiba’s state-of-the-art training and imaging with an outstanding multidisciplinary team, comprehensive education and community outreach. The result has been a multi-year improvement in both patient and financial outcomes in the diagnoses of acute stroke.
SCC found tremendous results for patients and their bottom line, and quantified those results through a two year study. In 2009 and 2010, SCC achieved an annualized cost savings of more than $2 million dollars for the top three ICD-9-CM stroke codes. The patient benefits were also significant with a reduction in length of stay and improved discharge dispositions. As healthcare providers everywhere will soon be challenged to provide more efficient and accurate care for patients, this is an example of how a collaborative approach to patient care can be successful in migrating to alternative payment models under the Affordable Care Act.