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Stroke Tech: New Telestroke Program in Washington

Posted by Matthew Colella May 07 2013

Quincy Valley Medical Center Telestroke ProgramThe Quincy Valley Medical Center in Quincy, Wash. has launched a new robotic telestroke program.

Coordinated through Providence Sacred Heart's comprehensive stroke center, the QVMC robotic telestroke program will directly link physicians at the facility to all of Sacred Heart's nationally-certified stroke center, allowing Quincy area patients and their physicians access to neurologists 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

QVMC says within moments of a request for a medical consultation, a Providence specialist can activate the robot to assess the patient as though he or she were in the same room.

Due to what the hospital says is a "national shortage of experienced neurologists," many patients in smaller communities who have experienced a stroke have chosen to bypass their local hospital, causing delays in treatment. Others who received initial care in their local hospital, QVMC says, were transferred to large regional hospitals in order to be seen by a neurologist. And, the group says, its robotic telestroke program should help to reverse these trends.

"Our goal is to bring expert stroke care to patients in community hospitals such as Quincy Valley Medical Center, allowing patients to remain under the care of their primary physician and close to home whenever appropriate," says Tena Cramer, Director of Neuroscience Services at Providence Sacred Heart.

By using technology to bring the neurologist into Quincy Valley Medical Center, patients and physicians have access to a wider range of specialists, technologies, and services that are otherwise unavailable, thus reducing the need for transfer to a high-level medical referral center like Providence Sacred Heart.

"The ability for the consulting stroke neurologist to visually share in the evaluation experience—to participate in the patient's examination as if they were at the bedside with the community emergency room physician—is invaluable in detecting stroke and in differentiating the low risk/minor stroke from the potentially catastrophic stroke," said Providence neurological and stroke specialist Madeleine Geraghty, MD.

When it comes to stroke, the faster patients can be diagnosed and treated, the better their outcomes. As a result, Quincy Valley Medical Center can now provide world-class stroke care when time matters most, the hospital said.

Located in Quincy, Washington, Quincy Valley Medical Center has provided quality care to the Quincy Valley community and surrounding areas for more than 50 years. A full-service healthcare provider, QVMC has inpatient offerings that include medical, surgical, pediatrics and more, and its outpatient services provide diagnostic and rehabilitative treatment. Other services available include wellness and physical therapy programs.

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