North Memorial’s award-winning stroke care has added a service that ensures that patients in community hospitals have access to North Memorial’s expertise. Using sophisticated technology that includes a computer and medical grade camera, TeleStroke allows neurologists at North Memorial to remotely assess and treat patients identified as having a stroke or having stroke-like symptoms virtually anytime, day or night.
North Memorial began the TeleStroke service as a pilot program for the Mille Lacs Health System hospital in Onamia, MN. A number of patients have been treated by TeleStroke, and the service has been well received based on high patient satisfaction scores.
With controls for the camera at the bedside, TeleStroke allows a neurologist to perform a full exam, including looking at a patient’s eyes, evaluating their facial expression and assessing other components which may reveal whether a stroke has occurred. The neurologist can also communicate with physicians and nurses at the community hospital, prescribe an appropriate treatment protocol and determine whether the patient needs to be transported to North Memorial for additional testing and care.
As a reminder, the best patient outcomes occur when stroke symptoms are identified as early as possible. The early warning signs of stroke can be found here.