TeleHealth Stroke Program Improves Outcomes for Patients
St. James Healthcare, part of Intermountain Health, has launched a TeleHealth Stroke program to provide extra support to patients experiencing a stroke in Southwest Montana.
Using TeleHealth technology, including high-definition cameras, audio equipment, and televisions in patient rooms, clinicians in Butte, Mont., can quickly connect with neurologists from Intermountain Health partner locations 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Although the idea of the cameras and audio technology might sound simple, the education and training around TeleHealth programs allow trained staff and specialists on both ends of the camera to provide seamless, superior care.
The ability to quickly connect with a neurologist through telemedicine has greatly improved the speed and quality of care for stroke patients. The service has ultimately led to better outcomes for patients and has been an invaluable addition to our healthcare services.
During a stroke, a patient loses thousands of brain cells per second. Rapidly diagnosing and treating stroke is critical to better outcomes for patients. TeleHealth supports both facilitates transfers to larger hospitals for appropriate interventions, such as thrombectomy, when necessary, but also helps initiate the care plan to keep patients closer to home when they do not need to be transferred.
"St. James and Intermountain Health are committed to improving clinical treatment for patients," said Dr. Amanda Opfer, St. James’ Stroke Program Medical Director. "The TeleHealth Stroke Program has done just that, by providing faster and more specialized care to those who experience a stroke."
The TeleHealth Stroke program not only implements innovative technology to assist in providing superior patient care, but it also addressed the need for clinical expertise in rural areas like Southwest Montana. The program allows patients to receive care quickly and continue along their path to recovery close to home.