Program Allows Neurologists to Beam into Local Ambulances, “See” Stroke Patients in-Transit
TeleSpecialists and Catholic Medical Center (CMC) are pleased to announce a one-of-a-kind TeleStroke Ambulance Program. Using a cutting-edge telemedicine platform, ambulance crews can access expert neurologists, who will be able to see potential stroke patients en route to the hospital. This is the first program of its kind in the Northeast.
“Assessing patients as quickly as possible is vital in the treatment of those experiencing stroke-like symptoms,” said TeleSpecialists CEO Nima Mowzoon, MD, MBA. “Once we receive the call, we can have a neurologist on screen, or this case a tablet, evaluating a patient within minutes. Now that we have access to patients in ambulances, this critical evaluation period can take place even faster.”
The first 60 minutes after someone exhibiting stroke symptoms arrives at the hospital are referred to as the “golden hour,” when appropriate treatment like tPA therapy can limit the side effects and potential damage of a stroke. Beginning the neurological assessment on the ambulance shortens the time it takes to get that patient brain-saving treatment.
With the TeleStroke Ambulance Program, as EMS transport a probable stroke patient to Catholic Medical Center, a TeleSpecialists Neurologist can beam into the tablet and begin a neurological assessment, alerting Catholic Medical Center of its data before reaching the hospital. Once the patient is admitted, the same neurologist can also have continued access to the patient, ensuring appropriate, uninterrupted care.
"CMC is already recognized for excellence in stroke care, large in part because of the way we apply the latest technologies to delivering the best medicine,” said CMC President & CEO Dr. Joseph Pepe. “Our partnership with TeleSpecialists not only brings real-time expertise to the hospital with a state-of-the-art stroke program, but now to potential patients in ambulances, before reaching our Emergency Department.”
“This program has the potential to further move cutting edge emergency care into our ambulances,” said Chief for New Hampshire Fire & EMS Strategy and Planning Nick Mercuri, MHA, NRP, RN. “This technology can make a big difference for our patients and communities, especially those that are a considerable distance from a facility that offers advanced stroke care. I applaud CMC, the ambulance companies and TeleSpecialists for stepping up and crafting this program.”
Local ambulance company AMR, Goffstown Fire, and Peterborough Fire are currently participating in the TeleStroke Ambulance Program. The program builds off of CMC’s existing relationship with TeleSpecialists for TeleStroke and TeleNeurology services, which harness telemedicine technology to give patients expert care close to home.