New Tele-conferencing Technology Gives Windham Hospital Stroke Patient Real-Time Diagnosis
Windham Hospital stroke patients now have instant access to top neurologists and the latest technology thanks to Hartford HealthCare’s Telehealth Network, which uses tele-conferencing for real-time expert neurological assessment.
Located in the hospital’s emergency department, the device is used 24/7 to help assess neurological symptoms. At the core of the new service is a computer on wheels equipped with a high-definition camera remotely connecting the patient with a Telehealth neurologist who assists with the exam and provides specialized evaluations.
“Many neurology issues are time-sensitive,” says Gregory Shangold, MD, Emergency Department Medical Director. “In the past, we have accomplished this with phone conversations with neurologists. Now, patients and neurologists will be able to have face-to-face conversations in a very timely fashion.”
The Hartford HealthCare Telehealth Network is designed as an affordable option for hospitals in providing community access to high quality specialized care when needed. The network has launched first with neurology and stroke service lines, but will soon expand to other service lines as clinical needs arise.
“It was like [the neurologist] was right in the room with me. I was very impressed,” says Robert Hill of Coventry. Hill, who recovered from a transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini stroke) in March, was the first patient to be assessed and diagnosed by the Telehealth Network.
For a small community hospital like Windham, Telehealth is a valuable tool and represents the next generation of community care.
“The purpose is to enhance the timeliness and quality of care for patients with neurologic complaints and to keep them in the community,” says Cary Trantalis, Vice President of Operations at Windham Hospital
The technology can also help physicians select patients who may be candidates for alternative stroke therapies such as catheter-based interventions including clot retrieval devices and the newest stroke trials available at Hartford Hospital.
Windham Hospital, founded in 1933, is a non-profit, acute-care community hospital serving 19 eastern Connecticut towns. It has 131 beds, conducts nearly 4,000 surgeries annually, and its emergency department has been ranked among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide for patient satisfaction.