Specialists assist emergency telemedicine consultations

Specialists On Call, Inc. (SOC), has announced that it recently performed its 5,000th emergency neurology consultation via telemedicine since the Company’s inception in 2005. In addition, SOC announced that it has reached several other important operational milestones including completing to date more than 3,500 emergency consultations specifically for cerebrovascular (stroke and TIA) patients, and within these more than 350 cases in which the Company’s nationally prominent neurologists prompted and assisted with the administration of advanced therapies for stroke including the administration of the clot dissolving drug tPA to patients suffering acute strokes. The achievement of this sustainable and growing consultation volume makes SOC the largest private emergency neurology practice in the country. Dr. Joe Peterson, CEO, explained, “In 2008 alone we expect to perform more than 4,000 emergency consultations by the end of the year, and in 2009 we expect to increase our annual consult volume to more than 6,000 patients. In nearly every case, these are consultations on patients that otherwise would not see a neurologist during their emergency care. We are tremendously proud that we have developed the capacity to extend expert emergency neurology care to patients in all locations, and to our client hospitals the majority of whom are busy suburban hospitals lacking good or any on-call support. Our specialists follow current clinical protocols for emergency neurology and stroke care in the course of helping local physicians with diagnosis, treatment and transfer decisions, and we do so without taking any interest in capturing referred patients and without robbing patients or procedures from local neurologists. In our model, better care is combined with better financial circumstances for local hospitals and neurologists, and local hospital systems.” SOC is a private provider of emergency neurology consultations by telemedical link, and is accredited by the Joint Commission as an ambulatory care organization. SOC’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Colin McDonald, added, “SOC’s practice of firmly adhering to current ASA and AHA stroke protocols has helped SOC deliver a consistently high level quality of care to patients and hospitals from Massachusetts to Texas and beyond. We’ve embedded our evidence-based approach within a true commitment to professionalizing on-call service; consistent, rapid physician response times and defined service levels, superbly trained, experienced neurologists and an infrastructure into which we have invested literally millions of dollars over the past three years. We have a superb clinical force supported by a successful business model that will continue to scale. It’s now our hope that our academic partners as well as major organizations focused upon stroke care can examine and learn from the data we continue to gather from what has become the largest emergency neurology practice in the United States.” Dr. James Grotta, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of acute stroke, personally takes on-call shifts as part of his department’s participation in SOC’s on-call roster. “With SOC, each of us has made a difference in the lives of many stroke patients in Texas who are physically distant from our or any university medical center and we’ve worked with local physicians to achieve many remarkable success stories. Our department has been able to provide new access to excellent stroke care and to help demonstrate the effectiveness of this University collaboration with a private company to begin addressing the severe shortage of stroke specialists.” Dr. Peterson summarized, “The electronic presence of our university-based and community-based neurologists enables individual hospitals to better treat patients with strokes and other neurological emergencies and we are helping hospital systems to rapidly organize themselves into financially and clinically effective hub and spoke systems. In our model, everyone wins — patients & families, ED’s, in-house and local doctors, hospitals and insurance companies all benefit from our professional approach to on-call support. In addition, we have achieved success with a model that doesn’t require financial compromises from our on-call physicians; work with SOC has become a rewarding addition to the practice options available to specialist physicians committed to emergency care. In the months ahead we’ll be duplicating this level of service in pediatrics and psychiatry, and we look forward to reporting similar impact in those clinical disciplines.” Specialists On Call, Inc., is a private, national, professionally managed, physician led telemedicine company that distributes clinical expertise using a consolidated teleconferencing, PACS and EMR system. Dr. Peterson has lead service businesses in multiple industries over the past 17 years, and was formerly ED faculty at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. McDonald is a neuro-intensivist and formerly an attending physician in the ICU of Massachusetts General Hospital, and a teaching physician at Harvard Medical School. With offices in Boston and Los Angeles, SOC is committed to extending professional on-call specialist physician support to patients in all settings and geographies, with special expertise in urban and suburban hospitals and hospital systems.


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