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Advanced Care, Better Outcomes

Working to further improve stroke care and stroke recovery in Northwest Indiana, the certified, Primary Stroke Centers of Community Healthcare System have partnered with Rush Medical Center’s TeleStroke Network. The network utilizes telemedicine to bring board-certified vascular neurologists from Rush to the patient’s bedside within minutes for stroke assessment through a mobile video robotic system. The TeleStroke technology is available through the Emergency departments of Community Hospital, Munster, St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, and St. Mary Medical Center, Hobart.

TeleStroke allows Rush vascular neurologists to speak face-to-face with patients as well as neurologists and clinicians present in the emergency room. The assessment helps the emergency teams to quickly determine if the patient is an appropriate candidate for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which, when administered in a timely manner, can save lives or reduce the long-term effects of stroke, or if a more advanced treatment regimen is required.

During a TeleStroke assessment, a Rush neurologist can review CT scans, vital signs and, through a high-definition camera located on the robot, view a patient’s pupils during a detailed assessment. The physician has access to the patient’s medical information through an electronic medical record.

Within minutes, the stroke neurologist, along with the emergency room clinical staff, determines a plan of care and treatment to be initiated by the emergency physician. The process reduces the amount of time it takes to perform neurological assessments by having them completed simultaneously between consulting and on-site physicians.