A new tele-health program launched in the Emergency Department last month for patients presenting with stroke symptoms.
The program uses a low-cost, easy-to-use technological solution—an iPad with the Microsoft Teams app, customized by our own IT and ED teams.
When a patient presents to the ED with stroke symptoms, the ED team connects to an Englewood Health-affiliated neurologist’s personal cell phone, using a HIPAA-secure connection. Our neurologists are able to visually evaluate the patient and make recommendations to the ED team. By using telemedicine for stroke, the team aims to reduce door-to-needle time for TPA administration and the time it takes for a neurology consult, improving the quality of care.
“Our focus is on using simple, user-friendly technology to improve quality and access to care. This technology is familiar to all of us, so there is an easy learning curve. And by using our own EH neurologists, we can maintain continuity of care. The doctors that patients see on the screen are the same ones they’ll see in the hospital if they are admitted,” says Hillary Cohen, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine and VP of Medical Affairs.
The program also helps physicians manage their time—an ever-increasing challenge for all providers. If the neurologist is at home or in the office, he or she can still interact with the patient without coming into the hospital.
The tele-stroke program is part of Englewood Health’s overall tele-health strategy, with an anticipated expansion to other specialty and primary care services. “Acute stroke care is an ideal setting for initiation of telemedicine at Englewood Hospital. It has previously been well validated. We expect to improve treatment times without compromising good care. The stroke team is excited to use this new technology and there has been good feedback to date,” says Lauren DeNiro, neurologist and chair of the stroke committee.
Pictured: Dr. Eric Chu and Dr. Ariella Glaser with the tele-stroke technology.