TEMPiS has set itself the target to improve stroke care also in rural areas. Stroke experts from the TEMPiS centres advise regional hospitals via video conference. Within the TEMPiS network, regional hospitals receive competent support by stroke centres around the clock.
In 2003, two specialized stroke centres and 12 (meanwhile 24) regional hospitals founded a telemedical network in eastern Bavaria with the aim to provide modern stroke management and advanced stroke expertise in non-urban-areas. More than 9,000 patients suffering from stroke are treated in the 21 hospitals of the TEMPiS network every year. Physicians in the regional hospitals are able to contact the stroke centres in Munich-Harlaching or at the University of Regensburg 24 hours a day.
The telemedical system consists of a digital network including 2-way video conference technology and CT/MRI-image transfer using high-speed data transmission (transferring the pictures of the CT-scan within seconds). Stroke experts are contacted while the patient is still in the emergency department. The expert, using the 2-way video conference, can take a look at the patient, talk to the patient directly and examine the patient with the help of the local physician. Within minutes, the expert can now decide whether or not a thrombolysis therapy is indicated. Through the TEMPiS network, patients in rural areas can now receive a highly specialized stroke treatment that used to be the privilege of patients living in larger cities with stroke centres.
The TEMPiS network not only provides telemedical advice, it also assists regional hospitals in establishing specialized stroke wards and it offers regular education programs for the staff – nurses, therapists, doctors. Since 2003, more than 50,000 teleconsultations have been performed and more than 7,000 patients received thrombolysis (data from January 2017). Regarding this data, TEMPiS is the largest telemedical stroke network in the world. In a study with 3,100 patients, the benefit of this project was proven. Treatment in a TEMPiS-connected hospital significantly improved the chance of a patient with a stroke to leave the hospital without severe disability. TEMPiS is a prime example of efficient stroke care easily accessible to people in rural areas. It has gained international appreciation and has received several awards.