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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Robot, live streaming bring off-site stroke experts to patients’ bedside

Franciscan St. Francis Health uses TeleStroke as a rapid response resource

INDIANAPOLIS – When a stroke occurs, time is critical in making an accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment plan. And for good reason: Brain cells deteriorate quickly, leaving a patient with permanent brain damage.

Franciscan St. Francis Health now has a new weapon in its arsenal to combat the effects of stroke. It’s InTouch® Telestroke, and it enables the hospital’s neuroscientists to offer immediate and around-the-clock consultations when patients present with stroke conditions.

“TeleStroke extends our hospital’s services to outlying hospitals to serve the unmet needs of surrounding communities,” said David A. Glander, MD, a neurologist who practices at Franciscan St. Francis Health and is a member of JWM Neurology. “It also improves access to specialists and the treatment of stroke patients, all leading to improved outcomes and reducing the incidence of long-term disability.”

TeleStroke is a mobile communications platform that enables a stroke patient and emergency room staff to consult with a neurologist via the robot’s video monitor. It uses live Web video streaming to allow the neurologist to remotely review the patient’s information and examine and talk with the patient, family members and clinicians to determine a treatment plan at the patient’s bedside.

Using a laptop or tablet such as an iPad, the neurologist can adjust the robot’s camera and check a patient’s pupils and listen to their heart and lungs through a stethoscope mounted on the robot.

The neurologist and the on-site team both can access and update the patient’s electronic medical record. After the diagnosis is made, the neurologist makes a recommendation, and the emergency room doctor and team can begin treatment.

In a recent demonstration, Franciscan St. Francis Health recently unveiled its TeleStroke program and connection between its Indianapolis and Mooresville hospitals, the latter of which is an outlying facility in Morgan County.

“This technology enables me and my colleagues to concentrate on our patients without delay,” Dr. Glander said. “We also plan to look at ways we can share our program and TeleStroke capabilities in partnership with hospitals in need of such services.”

Franciscan St. Francis Health’s neurology teams recently received the Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

To view how TeleStroke works, watch this VIDEO.