Telemedicine serves outlying hospitals lacking 24-hour neurology coverage.
When a patient is admitted to our partnering hospitals with emergent stroke symptoms a protocol is activated that puts a neurologist from Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH) in charge. GMH is the flagship hospital of Prisma Health-Upstate. The neurologist examines the patient interactively by webcam, reviews the patient’s CT scan and blood work, and determines whether the patient is eligible for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a powerful clot-dissolving medication, or possibly endovascular treatment of the stroke. The process saves valuable time otherwise lost in hospital transfer and providing patients with access to valuable stroke expertise that would otherwise not be available.
“There’s a shortage of neurologists, so our challenge is how to stretch available resources to provide effective and safe intervention for acute stroke. The answer is telemedicine. It is a secure, private, internet-based program that employs a two-way audio/video system. The neurologist can see and speak with the patient, family and staff (and vice-versa) as if present in the room. Neurologists find the system very effective in allowing quick and safe evaluation and treatment recommendations for patients with new stroke symptoms. When there is no neurologist in-house, telemedicine enables us to be in two places at once.”
-Fredy Revilla, MD, Chief of Neurology Services