The cross-border Cerdanya Hospital: an example of successful cooperationDecember 2016
To be able to treat someone rapidly after a stroke requires coordination between local emergency services and specialist neurology and neurosurgery departments.
In the remote area of Cerdanya on the French-Spanish border, which has a low population but is a popular tourist destination (six months of the year), the French and Catalan health authorities have put in place systems designed to reduce the risks for patients (who must receive medical attention within six hours of having the stroke). The cross-border Cerdanya Hospital is thus able to mobilise an emergency service (mobile and on-site) and modern technical facilities thanks to MRI, which, with the help of a neurologist providing expertise remotely (in Barcelona or Perpignan), will enable a medical decision to be taken in the same way as for patients receiving treatment in a big city hospital.
In order to put these systems in place, it has been necessary to work on medical protocols, IT links with referral centres, and staff training (harmonising the skills of x-ray operators and emergency doctors). A set-up with a fixed video camera in an emergency booth is linked to Barcelona and a set-up on a moving trolley is linked to Perpignan, making it possible to carry out other telemedicine procedures.
Being open to the other country's practices, the doctors, technicians and IT staff have been able to work on harmonisation and the few differences in treatment procedures (medical attention within eight hours and possible access to a scanner in Catalonia). All in all, a programme that benefits patients, but also the French and Spanish partners who have found a space for dialogue and mutual improvement of their practices.
The Cerdanya Hospital EGTC joined the MOT in November 2016.
Read the editorial from Xavier Faure, Project Manager, Occitanie Regional Healthcare Agency