Thursday, September 06, 2007

Alberta’s Telestroke Program | Technology to improve stroke care to remote areas

Canadians living in rural and remote areas of Alberta will have better access to stroke diagnosis and treatment services through an investment of close to $1.1 million from Canada Health Infoway in the province-wide network that links stroke specialists and patients.

The Telestroke program will provide funding to participating health regions to expand the use of videoconferencing technology and other specialized equipment to enable direct medical consultation without the need to have the health professional and patient in the same place.

"Our Telestroke program has already demonstrated many examples of faster diagnosis and treatment, as well as improved outcomes for stroke patients in rural Alberta," said Dave Hancock, Minister of Health and Wellness. "This investment will build on our strong Telehealth network that bridges the physical distance between patients and specialist services."

The Telestroke program supports the Alberta Provincial Stroke Strategy, which is a collaborative partnership between government, regional health authorities and the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation to reduce the rate of strokes and improve acute treatment, rehabilitation care and outcomes for patients.

"Alberta's Telestroke program is one of many revolutionary initiatives that are modernizing patient care across Canada," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway, a not-for-profit organization which invests with public sector partners to accelerate electronic health records across Canada. "This project will provide patients with quick access to stroke diagnosis and treatment closer to home, resulting in improved outcomes and increased efficiency."

Improving stroke care supports Premier Ed Stelmach's plan to improve Albertans' quality of life. Other priorities for the government are to: govern with integrity and transparency, manage growth pressures, build a stronger Alberta and provide safe and secure communities.

For more information, please visit Alberta's Telestroke Program website

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