Crozer-Keystone Emergency Department Offers Telemedicine Services for Stroke Patients - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on September 04, 2014

Crozer-Keystone Emergency Department Offers Telemedicine Services for Stroke Patients

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Katrina Stier
(610) 447-6314
Katrina.Stier@crozer.org

This past June, the Pennsylvania Department of Health granted approval for the emergency department (ED) at Crozer-Chester Medical Center to use telemedicine services in the treatment of stroke patients. With stroke telemedicine, Crozer-Keystone connects patients with the right doctor to rapidly assess their condition and recommend treatment.

When a neurologist is not available on-site, telemedicine services enable ED staff to consult with an on-call neurologist from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 24 hours a day using a REACH Health telecommunications system. The service was developed as a joint effort between Crozer-Keystone Health System and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), opening the door for future stroke treatment options and innovations.

“We are excited to partner with HUP to provide optimal treatment for all patients suffering from acute strokes,” said Bruce Nisbet, M.D., physician chief of the Emergency Department at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. “The ability to connect with their neurologists allows faster examination of the patient to help determine the best treatment plan.”

Once a potential stroke patient is brought into the ED, following emergency stroke procedures and testing, an on-call neurologist from HUP is contacted and a video conference cart is brought into the patient’s room. The HUP neurologist, assisted by the ED nursing staff, performs an exam remotely using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stroke Scale. The patient’s score on the exam helps to determine the amount of damage and enables the neurologist to recommend a treatment plan.

“The main advantage is to have almost immediate access to a neurologist with particular expertise in acute stroke when Crozer-Keystone’s neurologist is encumbered,” said Dr. Nisbet. “Additionally, there is a small subset of patients suffering from an acute stroke who might potentially benefit from a particular intervention offered at HUP.”

Stroke telemedicine improves physician access to patients in need and allows Crozer-Keystone neurologists an additional professional perspective. This service quickly determines if patients with neurological problems need additional care or to be transferred to a secondary facility.

All ED physicians, neurologists and nurses have been trained on the telemedicine services and equipment available at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. The stroke telemedicine monitoring equipment is password protected for patient safety and daily inspections guarantee the security and functionality of equipment. In addition, a Crozer-Keystone stroke coordinator evaluates all telemedicine records to identify performance improvement opportunities.

Crozer-Keystone Health System has been nationally recognized for excellence in stroke care, including diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation services. The Joint Commission has certified Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Delaware County Memorial Hospital and Taylor Hospital as Primary Stroke Centers. This means that the hospitals’ programs meet the highest national standards of care for stroke patients and adhere to guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. To find out more about Crozer-Keystone’s stroke services, visit our stroke care page.

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