At Cleveland Clinic, neurologists and neurosurgeons reach patients who are experiencing strokes even if they’re hundreds of miles away. Clinicians in a mobile stroke treatment unit use telehealth to bring remote neurologists to patients in seconds, and this approach has helped stroke patients receive potentially life-saving anti-clot medication 40 minutes faster.
When a patient experiences a stroke at home, clinicians provide care on the scene from a mobile stroke treatment unit. In the mobile unit, the patient immediately receives a CT scan, and the emergency response team conducts a video assessment with a remote neurologist. The assessment, plus the findings from the CT, help the neurologist triage the patient’s care—and prescribe clot-busting medication to stop the stroke—well before the patient arrives at the hospital. If the patient is admitted to the hospital, the neurologist can use the same telehealth tools to regularly evaluate the patient.
The patient and the care team can also check in using telehealth to manage long-term recovery after the patient goes home. For example, the patient can have a video visit with a primary care physician using MyChart, and the PCP can loop in a neurologist for an e-consult if needed. The patient can also send daily readings from smart devices, such as blood pressure monitors, through MyChart for providers to view. The care team uses dashboards in Epic to monitor trends in the patient’s progress over time.
“Telehealth is embedded in how we provide care—we can get a neurologist to the patient in seconds,” said Peter Rasmussen, MD, Professor of Neurological Surgery at Cleveland Clinic and Chief Clinical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic/Amwell joint venture. “Getting patients specialty care faster, especially during an event like a stroke, helps save lives.”
To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic’s digital health initiative, check out their presentation for the Scottsdale Institute.