Patients visiting Marlette Regional Hospital for symptoms of stroke, epilepsy, movement disorders, brain tumor, or aneurysm, now have immediate access to advanced neurological care thanks to a new partnership with St. John Hospital & Medical Center (SJHMC) and St. Mary’s of Michigan.
Using advanced audiovisual technology, the SJHMC Van Elslander Neuroscience Center of Excellence is expanding its reach by partnering with small, rural hospitals—like Marlette Regional Hospital—to expedite evaluation and treatment of stroke patients by remotely accessing medical experts via the 24/7 NeuroOnCall (telemedicine) service. By calling one phone number, any time day or night, medical staff can consult with experienced SJHMC neuroscience specialists for patients presenting with stroke-like symptoms.
In Marlette, when a patient is admitted to the hospital or is visiting the emergency room (ER) for stroke-like symptoms, staff at Marlette Regional Hospital will move an audio and visual enabled robot near the patient, so that the stroke neurologist on call at SJHMC will be able to see and communicate with the patient via a live video feed (similar to Skype or Facetime). This same neurologist will also be able to view the patient’s laboratory results and diagnostic imaging films (cat scans) to assist in diagnosis. Family members and staff will also be able to talk to the SJHMC specialist, which can ease the transition if transfer to a higher level of care is necessary for further advanced treatments. This telemedicine technology is also available at McKenzie Health System in Sandusky.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or there is bleeding in the brain. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. If you’re having a stroke, it’s critical that you get medical attention right away. Prompt treatment of a stroke could mean the difference between life and death—or between recovery and disability.
Through this partnership, we’re bringing the latest advances in stroke treatment closer to home. Planning is in place for this technology to be used in the future for behavioral health.
Pictured above displaying the telemedicine technology is Dr. William Halacoglu and nurse Andrea Brecht, RN of the emergency department.