Telestroke Network Helping Patients in Mid Coast Region | Health

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Telestroke Network Helping Patients in Mid Coast Region
Health, People

Mid Coast Hospital recently joined the Telestroke Network at Maine Medical Center's Neuroscience Institute. This development in telemedicine care provides residents in the Mid Coast community around-the-clock access to MMC's 24-hour, on-call stroke neurologists and emergency department acute stroke consultation.

The Telestroke Network—provided through the Maine Medical Center Stroke Program, a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center—establishes a video conferencing link between Mid Coast's Emergency Department staff and a MMC neurologist. This technology facilitates a two-way consultation, giving patients the benefit of being evaluated by a MMC neurologist and allowing for rapid review of CT images—all to aid in a quick and accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

With the help of the Telestroke Network, Mid Coast Hospital is expanding their range of services to include high quality stroke care for patients within their own community. This means Mid Coast clinicians will receive guidance on the appropriate administration of thrombolytics, clot-dissolving medications, and the support needed to safely offer this therapy to eligible patients. By offering time-sensitive stroke services, Mid Coast Hospital can improve patient outcomes, decrease stroke-related disability, and reduce health care costs, all the while keeping more patients close to home.

Jay Mullen, MD, Medical Director and Chief of Emergency Medicine at Mid Coast Hospital, is enthusiastic about this new service. "When a patient suffers a potentially life-threatening injury or illness, the doctors caring for them need rapid access to the most advanced care possible. With the Telestroke Network, our board certified Emergency Physicians have access to a stroke expert within 20 minutes. I truly believe that this new capability will change the lives of our patients in a very positive way."

Mid Coast Medical Group-Neurology physicians are board certified in neurology. They are available to meet the needs of individuals with diseases and disorders of the brain and nervous system. The additional services made available through the Telestroke Network augment the existing comprehensive stroke diagnosis and treatment capabilities at Mid Coast Hospital. Over the last year, Mid Coast has been working toward Primary Stroke Center Certification by the Joint Commission. This Certificate of Distinction recognizes centers that "make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care." This represents the best indicator to the community that the quality of care provided at Mid Coast Hospital is effectively managed to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients.

John Taylor, DO, board certified Neurologist and Director of the Mid Coast Hospital Stroke Program, describes the services he and his team provide this way, "We offer comprehensive stroke care appropriate for our institution. The addition of the Telestroke program helps us provide timely and seamless acute stroke coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

The Neuroscience Institute's Telestroke Network currently works with Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, MaineGeneral Hospitals in Augusta and Waterville, and Mid Coast Hospital.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability. Approximately 795,000 strokes occur each year, and delays in diagnosis contribute to the mortality and disability associated with stroke.

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