Monday, May 11, 2009

Benefits of Telemedicine for Stroke care in ERs

New evidence demonstrating the benefits of telemedicine based stroke care is cited in the recent Journal of the American Heart Association.
The current physician shortage, is creating new opportunities for showing telemedicince's value.

Stroke care is a narrow application for telemedicine. The use of TPA treatment for acute stroke and the need for an urgent evaluation of a stroke patient within 1-2 hours in order to administer TPA for the treatment an acute stroke has created a market for telemedicine for stroke care.

Hospital emergency rooms already have a dificult time finding neurology coverage. The need to have a neurologist available to make a thorough patient evaluation within 1-2 hours of an impending stroke has exacerbated the shortage. As a result, hospitals have been willing to pay for this service even though there is no payer coverage, including Medicare.

The benefits of telemedicine do not stop with stroke care. Any situation or setting where there's a paucity of phyician access, is ideal for telemedicine. We have found that nursing homes are such a setting. There are too few physicians following too many nursing homes. Telemedicine can solve this problem. See Fierce HealthIT for more.

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