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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Launches Telestroke Technology with Memorial Medical Center

November 16, 2012

Taylorville Memorial Hospital launched a partnership with Memorial Medical Center to offer telestroke technology, which uses two-way audio and video teleconferencing to provide patients with immediate access to stroke-trained neurologists.

“Our partnership with Memorial Medical Center gives our community around-the-clock access to stroke experts who work with us to evaluate and administer the most effective and appropriate treatments for people suffering from acute stroke,” Dan Raab, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital,  said.

“This means more people in our community will have access to stroke-trained neurologists and will receive the life-saving care they need close to home while those patients who need a higher level of care can be identified and transferred to receive additional treatments including minimally invasive neurointerventional procedures.”

When a suspected stroke patient arrives at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, the Emergency Department staff immediately begin executing evidenced-based stroke protocols that contain a standardized neurological assessment and diagnostic tests. Once a stroke is suspected, the emergency physicians at Taylorville Memorial Hospital will partner with stroke-trained neurologists at Memorial Medical Center using videoconferencing technology installed in the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Department.

Using a secure web camera video, the stroke neurologist performs a quick assessment of the patient. Neuroimages taken at Taylorville Memorial Hospital are transmitted electronically to Memorial for a real-time consultation with the stroke neurologist.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s clinical team and the stroke neurologist work together and carry out the best treatment option for the patient, said Sajjad Mueed, MD, Memorial Stroke Center medical director and a neurologist with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

The vast majority of strokes are ischemic, which means an artery to the brain is blocked. To treat the stroke, physicians must restore blood flow to the brain as soon as possible.

“A clot-busting drug, called tPA, is effective at restoring blood flow if it’s administered within a few hours of the onset of the stroke,” Mueed said.

In some stroke cases, patients will require a higher level of care and can be quickly transferred to Memorial Medical Center, which offers neurointerventional radiology services. Augusto Elias, DDS, MD, neurointerventional radiologist with Clinical Radiologists, S.C., based in Springfield, performs minimally invasive interventional techniques to thread tiny catheters and wires through a patient’s blood vessels to eliminate clots and restore blood flow to the brain.
Memorial Medical Center is certified as a primary stroke center by The Joint Commission. The certification recognizes Memorial for “exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care,” according to The Joint Commission. Primary stroke centers tailor treatment to individual needs, adhere to national stroke guidelines and continually assess and improve how care is delivered.

Memorial offers a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to stroke care with an integrated program that addresses the complete spectrum of care from prevention to rehabilitation, Teresa Reiser, Memorial Medical Center’s director of neuromuscular sciences, said.

Memorial’s rehabilitation facilities are among only a handful of others worldwide to hold a fivefold accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, including accreditation for its stroke specialty program.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital  |  201 East Pleasant Street, Taylorville, Illinois 62568  |  (217) 824-3331