When it comes to a medical emergency, we all know that time is off the essence. IU Health is making the most of every patient’s time with lifesaving Telemedicine technology. This communication and information technology uses cameras, audio and other remote monitoring tools to provide healthcare to patients from long distances and in underserved geographic regions.
Methodist Health Foundation, championing the mission of IU Health Methodist Hospital through gifts from donors, has been an integral part of bringing this innovative technology to patients across Indiana. In 2009, 2010 and again in 2012, Methodist Health Foundation funded grants to start up the Stroke Telemedicine System of Care, or Telestroke, using the Telemedicine technology to treat patients who have suffered a stroke. The results have been life changing.
Methodist Health Foundation gives the example of a particular patient whose life was saved due to the faster, more effective stroke care Stroke Telemedicine provided. A female patient admitted with stroke-like symptoms to the Emergency Department at an IU Health hospital in southern Indiana was sent for a head CT Scan while the physician contacted the Telestroke neurologist on call at IU Health Methodist.
The Telestroke cart containing computer equipment and a remote camera was brought to the patient’s room where an IU Health Methodist neurologist assessed the patient, spoke with the family, consulted with the onsite care team and recommend a course of treatment. This advanced level of care was available to the patient in minutes rather than the hours it would have taken to transport her by ambulance to Methodist. The time savings allowed the effects of her stroke to be reversed.
Thanks in part to Methodist Health Foundation grant funds, the IU Health Neuroscience Department has implemented the telestroke program at six IU Health hospitals, with plans to add 11more facilities in 2013. Truly this advanced level of care is impacting patients in a positive way.