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Telestroke – Telemedicine for Stroke Aftercare

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 5, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Stroke Prevalence In The United States

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strokes kill nearly 130 000 Americans annually. Each year upwards of 795 000 Americans suffer a stroke, leaving a large percentage of those people disabled, making stoke the leading cause of long-term disability countrywide. These numbers are staggering.

What Is Telestroke?

Telestroke is the use of telemedicine (digital communication to send medical information from one site to another) in stroke aftercare. It is used especially for hospitals in isolated communities with a lack of stroke resources to communicate with specialists and with hospitals that have more available means for stroke care. It is also used for stroke patients to be remotely monitored from their homes or nursing homes by a team of doctors.

How Telestroke Works For Hospital Settings

Unfortunately, vascular neurologists and other specialists with concentrations in stroke care aren’t readily available in many small, underfunded and rural (spoke) hospitals across the country, so what are these little hospitals to do when a patient comes in mid-stroke? They must have the means to communicate all crucial information to specialists in larger, more equipped (hub) hospitals to gain life-saving and damage-controlling advice for stroke victims. Luckily in our technologically advanced world doctors have the ability to transmit vitals and other diagnostic info and run videoconferences between the two sites so specialists can see the condition of the patient and witness the local doctor performing tests and exams, to further instruct him or her.

Necessary Components For Telestroke Care

The CDC recommends that the necessary technology be installed and updated regularly in spoke hospitals, and hub hospitals must have vascular neurologists on call 24/7 to be accessed for videoconferencing with smaller hospitals as soon as stroke victims are wheeled in. For telestroke to be successful, the CDC also suggests other key components such as a program leader to correlate communication, on-site visits between hub specialists and spoke sites when necessary, standardized protocol between the hub hospital and all spoke sites, and patient transfer agreements in case an emergency transportation is necessary.

Individual Telestroke Aftercare

Telemedicine can also come in handy for disabled stroke patients with the means for homecare to be monitored via vital machines and communication with doctors or specialists through telemedicine. This type of telestroke care can also apply to patients who’ve suffered strokes and live in nursing homes. The nursing homes could use DocChat as the liaison between the patient and neurologist. Our highly qualified physicians can also provide the patient with care, checkups and medication alterations when needed via teleconferences.

 

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