To ensure access to advanced specialty care for all patients in the community and surrounding rural areas, HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland offers a stroke telemedicine program.
What does being designated as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) mean?
The ESRH designation recognizes the importance St. Joseph's Hospital plays in delivering specialized acute health care to the community. To receive the state's designation, specific criteria must be met. Read more...
How does telemedicine work?
Telemedicine technology electronically transmits medical information via remote devices to maximize resources, increase efficiency and maintain high levels of care. Specialty physicians use real-time web-based video and audio technology to evaluate and interact directly with the patient and emergency staff remotely, thus giving patients immediate access to neurology specialists right at their bedside.
Why is immediate access important?
There is a short window of time when evaluation and treatment of a stroke is critical - this is when patients' lives can be saved and their brain function preserved. That's why it's important to know the symptoms and call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the warning signs.
How will this service work at St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland?
When a potential stroke patient arrives at the SJH Emergency Department, the staff will alert an on-call expert and share the patient's condition, along with brain and x-ray scans. A mobile "robot" unit - nicknamed "STEVE" (Stroke Telemedicine Emergency Video Exam) - will be brought to the patient's bedside to initiate an immediate consultation through videoconferencing. The neurologist will have the ability to interact face-to-face with the patient and their family, ask the patient to perform examination tasks and provide an expert recommendation to the SJH Emergency Department physician for the appropriate course of treatment.
What happens after a diagnosis is made?
Once there is a diagnosis, some patients may be given a special drug called t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator). This drug can break up a blood clot and allow blood supply to return, thereby preventing the patient's condition from worsening and even improving it in most cases. It is critical, however, that t-PA be administered within a 3 to 4.5 hour window from when the patient was last seen to be functioning normally and the patient's onset of stroke symptoms.
Who are the neurology specialists that will provide telemedicine services to SJH?
The hospital is partnering with C30 Telemedicine to supply double board-certified physicians (neurology and neuro-critical care specialists) who will serve as the on-call neurologists when an apparent stroke victim arrives at the SJH Emergency Department. An innovative provider of virtual-presence clinical coverage solutions to metropolitan and rural health facilities, C30 Telemedicine delivers flexible, responsive and highly supported telemedicine services with exceptional clinical quality.