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Treating Strokes 34 Minutes Faster with Epic Telehealth

Specialists and ED physicians work together to treat patients quickly at Community Healthcare System

During a stroke, fast treatment can prevent neural damage and save a person’s life. Using tPA medication to dissolve a blood clot in the brain is most effective when it’s given soon after the stroke begins. ED nurses at Community Healthcare System in Indiana use Epic during telehealth consults with a neurologist, helping them assess patients and administer tPA 34 minutes faster.

When a patient comes to the ED with signs of a stroke, the patient immediately receives a CT scan. After the scan, an ED nurse connects to a teleconsult with a remote neurologist for an assessment. The neurologist documents the last time the patient was without stroke symptoms and completes an assessment over video. The assessment, plus the findings from the CT scan, help determine whether the patient needs tPA.

If tPA is appropriate, the neurologist uses Epic to quickly order it. On a single screen in Epic designed to facilitate rapid stroke treatment, the ED nurse can quickly document assessments and the administration of the medication.

“Working as a team allows us to get patients the treatment they need faster so they not only survive strokes but recover with fewer lasting complications,” said CEO Lou Molina. Community Healthcare System achieved HIMSS Stage 7 recognition for their hospitals in 2015 for successes including teleconsults for stroke care. Read more about Community Healthcare System’s workflow from HIMSS. Epic community members can learn more about teleconsult tools on the UserWeb.