Stroke telemedicine in Madisonville brings advanced stroke care physicians to patients’ bedsides. These physicians speak to patients from the screen of a rolling, mobile robot the physician operates from his or her personal computer, laptop, tablet or phone. These telemedicine services offer numerous benefits to Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville patients:
- Accessible Care. Patients are cared for by advanced stroke care providers located anywhere in the world, enabling patients to receive services without the need for transportation far from home. The need for advanced stroke care providers is vast. Stroke telemedicine meets this need without requiring patients to travel to receive care.
- Fast, Responsive Care. Physicians can respond to a patient’s need within 10-15 minutes through the robot, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. This decreases a patient’s wait time to see an advanced practitioner. The timeliness is exceptionally important in stroke treatment where “time is brain,” or, the more time that elapses after a stroke without treatment, the more brain tissue that is threatened.
- Advanced Care. Receiving care from telemedicine stroke physicians from larger Joint Commission-certified stroke centers also affords patients access to the most current interventional stroke physician coverage. New treatments are available at major stroke centers in which specialists can go into the brain with a small catheter, remove the clot, and halt stroke progression in patients with a severe stroke up to 24 hours out from stroke onset. While this procedure cannot be performed at many local hospitals, a telemedicine stroke expert can quickly identify a candidate for this potentially life-saving procedure, and ensure the patient is quickly transported for the procedure.
- EMS Care Efficiency. Stroke telemedicine services also enable Madisonville EMS to keep their ambulances in the county for more hours to service patients in need of medical services quickly. EMS providers spend less time transporting neuro and stroke patients an hour or more to the closest stroke treatment center.
Limitations of Stroke Telemedicine
Some physical procedures cannot be performed by a telemedicine doctor directly, such as tapping a patient’s knee to get a reflex, touching a patient to assess dehydration or temperature, or performing invasive procedures.
However, executing these procedures becomes the role of the other healthcare providers at the bedside, such as your local emergency room physicians, hospitalists, and nurses. These providers have received extensive training on how to help the stroke specialist with any critical test or exam that is needed. The telemedicine physician gives instructions to the bedside provider about what is needed to provide the patient with excellent care. If transport is needed, the telemedicine provider will recommend such a plan of action.
Use of Stroke Telemedicine
At Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville, we currently offer emergency room and inpatient stroke care services. We will also work with your primary care physician to provide him or her with the information about your hospital stay and the stroke expert’s follow-up care recommendations.
The patient and/or his or her primary care physician can always call the stroke provider after discharge with any questions as well. As the stroke care program grows at Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville, we will be monitoring any need for expansion of services.