Gold Cross Ambulance, ThedaCare Hospitals Communicate via New Stroke App

Patients’ Vitals and Info Sent Ahead, Saving Brain Cells, Function

ThedaCare recently implemented Pulsara, a customizable communication protocol that performs like an app, to optimize care for stroke patients and increase the chance for saving and maintaining brain function. Pulsara provides online and wireless delivery of vital patient information collected by first responders or ER doctors to the stroke teams at ThedaCare hospitals comprised of neurologists, pharmacists, and interventional radiologists.

“The goal is to reduce door-to-needle times, or the time it takes for a patient to receive the clot-busting medication tPA, or to be taken for a clot retrieval procedure,” said neurologist Thomas Mattio, MD, PhD., of the NeuroScience Group of Northeast Wisconsin and medical director of the Stroke Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah.

From the moment a patient gets help from first responders or emergency room staff, Pulsara enables caregivers to enter patient information and vitals and simultaneously times how many minutes it’s been since right before the person’s stroke, or “last time known well.” Each member of the care team is kept up to date about arrival times, when the patient’s CT scan is completed, stroke scores, and patient eligibility for advanced treatment.

“The treatment for a stroke is geared towards restoring blood flow, and there’s a very limited time window when that can happen and still save the brain cells and maintain their function,” said Dr. Mattio. “With Pulsara, our clinicians don’t have to shuffle through multiple charts and calls to get a read on the situation because it’s all been presented to each member of the team in real time.”

Mark Fredrickson, executive director at Gold Cross Ambulance said, "Everyone is on the same page when that patient arrives at the hospital. This app means our stroke patients have an even better chance of restoring their quality of life."

Pulsara also tracks response times and patient outcomes against customized ThedaCare benchmarks. Once the patient receives tPA, undergoes a clot retrieval procedure, or becomes ineligible for these advanced care procedures, the timeline is logged and stored for quality improvement purposes.

A year ago, area first responders and ThedaCare hospitals were the first in Wisconsin to use Pulsara to help EMS caring for a heart attack patient focus on care and better prepares the hospital – saving valuable time and increasing the chance of survival.

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 32 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.