Further extending its commitment to provide cutting edge, quality healthcare close to home, Memorial Hospital of Union County has joined Ohio State’s stroke telemedicine collaborative. This new partnership will expedite the delivery of specialized care without sacrificing lifesaving minutes to patient travel.

The Stroke Collaborative increases access to advanced stroke care, reinforces emergency medical service response and recognition of stroke signs and symptoms, and enhances the quality and efficiency of stroke care at Memorial Hospital.

When a suspected stroke patient arrives at Memorial’s emergency department, a “stroke alert” will be activated at both Ohio State and Memorial, to mobilize a team of stroke experts, who, through the use of video equipment, real-time testing, and patient interview, can work in partnership with the care team at Memorial to determine the best treatment option for the patient.

“Joining OSU’s telestroke collaborative allows us to bring specialized stroke expertise directly to the patient in a fast, efficient way,” says Chip Hubbs, President/CEO at Memorial. “The window of time to successfully treat stroke patients is short and through the use of this real-time technology, we can save more lives and improve outcomes for patients who wouldn’t otherwise have access to this expert care.”

Keeping patients’ interests in mind, Memorial Hospital is excited about expanding the critical, lifesaving care available while helping patients and their loved ones stay closer to home. While some patients may still require transport for advanced critical care, many will be able to remain close to home for their treatment and recovery. Not only does this offer familiarity to the patient, it also allows Memorial Hospital to work closely with the patient’s primary care physician and help coordinate the rehabilitation process that follows treatment. This convenience is just one added benefit of the partnership.

Another highlight is the video technology used. Now specialists at Ohio State can virtually be at the patient’s bedside from the moment they come in the door at Memorial Hospital, asking the patient questions and directing a specially trained healthcare team at Memorial in starting tPA, a lifesaving blood clot busting treatment and following established stroke care protocols.

As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was the first academic medical center in Ohio to go live with telestroke and the first health system in the state to extend their network beyond affiliate hospitals. Ohio State serves as the hub of the telestroke collaboration and provides rapid access to board certified vascular neurologists who can provide real-time consultation to physicians at participating local hospitals using video equipment, CT scans, and web-based software.

“By collaborating with other hospitals, we come together to offer the best system of care to stroke patients,” says Dr. Eric Sauvageau, Surgical Director of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center’s Neurovascular Stroke Center. “Cooperation among the hospitals allows stroke patients to be treated beyond the regular timeframe using advanced tools to dissolve or remove clots that cause stroke and reverse the symptoms.”

Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center has been awarded the advanced certification for designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Only two other Ohio hospitals have achieved this elite status.

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