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Metro Health Uses Vocera Solution to Save Time and Brain Cells

Vocera Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCRA), a recognized leader in clinical communication and workflow solutions, today announced that Metro Health – University of Michigan Health has improved its stroke time to treatment from 53 to 29 minutes, in part through Vocera technology.

Teams of specialty physicians are using the Vocera communication application on smartphones and computers to connect and collaborate quicker and more efficiently with emergency medical services (EMS), neurology, radiology, nursing, the laboratory and pharmacy. Before the ambulance even arrives at the hospital’s emergency department (ED), the right people have already been activated and the life-saving drugs are readily available.

“Saving time is critical to saving brain cells and saving lives. The reduction in our door-to-needle time translates to roughly 48 million brain cells being saved,” said Dillon Fassett, Process Improvement Coordinator of Metro Health’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. “This communication process has affected nearly every single patient we have treated.”

The high impact communication process was co-designed by Metro Health physicians and IT leaders in partnership with external EMS crews to improve care and outcomes for stroke patients. Using the secure communication app on their smartphones, paramedics send pre-arrival notifications with contextual patient information, such as name, age, medical record number, and state of health, to members of the hospital’s stroke team.

“Better communication enables our care teams to provide higher levels of care and leads to better outcomes, which is why we are all here,” said Thomas Fantin, Vice President of Information Technology at Metro Health. “We are grateful to have a communication tool like the Vocera solution. It helps us stay connected in real time, move people and resources faster, and provides greater collaboration for physicians who might not even be in the hospital.”

More efficient communication has also improved the hospital’s median door-to-groin time, which went from 114 to 84 minutes, and the median door-to-recanalization decreased from 148 to 125 minutes. When stroke occurs because of large vessel blockage, faster restoration of blood flow to organs and tissues leads to better outcomes for the patient.

Because of these stats and many other improvement initiatives, Metro Health was the first health system in the Grand Rapids area to attain HIMSS Level 7 status, the most prestigious distinction in the use of electronic medical record technology to improve patient care.

“The sophisticated use of healthcare technology puts Metro Health in elite company,” said Brent Lang, president and CEO at Vocera. “We are very proud to support this innovative University of Michigan Health affiliate and help its care teams inside and outside the hospital save valuable time to improve the lives of their patients.”

Use of Vocera technology supports many clinical workflows at Metro Health. The hospital recently started using it in virtual medicine processes. Clinicians use the Vocera smartphone app to notify physicians at the University of Michigan when telemedicine consults are needed for patients in the ED and ICU. Reading the text message, which may include images, vital signs and other contextual information, physicians can do a pre-assessment on the patient before the video consultation.