Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Bassett Healthcare

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

August 2010

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 2007— July 2009


Patients who live in rural areas may be unable to get timely, high-quality medical care when they experience an acute medical crisis.

To address this issue, Bassett Healthcare (Bassett) explored and developed the use of telemedicine across its system of care in central upstate New York. Bassett developed a Telestroke initiative to enable suspected stroke patients in rural areas distant from the Stroke Center at Bassett’s central facility in Cooperstown to receive specialty consultation without having to be brought there.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Four affiliates (Delhi, Sidney, Cobleskill, and Little Falls) and an independent regional hospital (Community Memorial) were qualified to participate in the Telestroke initiative, meeting the project’s revised objective.
  • Portable video conferencing carts from Polycom were placed at several locations in Bassett’s Cooperstown facility, and at each of the affiliates, to facilitate access to consulting physicians in the emergency room, inpatient areas, and the outpatient clinic. This allowed Bassett to expand beyond stroke in its remote treatment of patients.
  • Seventeen Phillips home monitoring units were placed with Bassett’s affiliated home care service, AHCare. At Home Care’s data on congestive heart failure patients monitored with these systems documented hospital readmission rates that were roughly half of the national average.
  • The infrastructure necessary to support teleconsultations, built on procedures developed with ward clerks, social workers, and nursing staff, was completed at Cobleskill Regional Hospital.
  • The project director reported holding numerous meetings with Bassett clinicians and clinical chiefs seeking support and commitment for telemedicine services.