Parkridge West Hospital has established a telemedicine program to provide 24/7 stroke care for residents of Marion County and its surrounding communities. A telemedicine robot equipped with high-definition, two-way videoconferencing capabilities virtually connects Parkridge West providers with board-certified neurologists over a secure Internet connection.
“Our telemedicine program connects us with teleneurologists within minutes of a request for consultation,” said Thomas Scoggins, M.D., Medical Director of Parkridge West Hospital Emergency Medicine Services. “Such access enables us to promptly determine the best treatment plan, deliver treatment or coordinate rapid transfer to a comprehensive certified stroke center.”
Parkridge West providers position the telemedicine robot at the patient’s bedside, and teleneurologists use the robot’s advanced technological features to conduct a thorough evaluation. Teleneurologists can also view imaging studies conducted at Parkridge West via HIPAA-compliant connectivity with the hospital’s picture archiving and communication system.
Rapid connection to teleneurologists allows Parkridge West providers to deliver time-critical therapies such as alteplase, a tissue plasminogen activator that can dissolve clots and restore blood flow to the brain. If administered within three hours of stroke onset, alteplase can significantly improve outcomes.
“During a stroke, time is of the essence,” said Shannon DeRogatis, RN, Stroke Coordinator at Parkridge Health System. “Nearly 2 million brain cells die each minute the brain is without oxygen during a stroke, so restoring blood flow and oxygenation is critical to saving function and life. The sooner we’re able to deliver alteplase to patients who meet the criteria for the medication, the better the outcomes.”
For patients who require additional endovascular therapy, Parkridge West will coordinate transfer to a comprehensive stroke center.