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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Mobile Tablets Support Emergency TeleStroke Care

Mobile Tablets Support Emergency TeleStroke Care

Dr. Sharyl Martini, MEDVAMC Neurologist and Medical Director for VA's National TeleStroke Program

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In dealing with acute strokes, it’s said, “time is brain.”

With that in mind, VA Connected Care is providing mobile tablets to VA care teams to support VA’s National TeleStroke Program (NTSP) and to help ensure the quickest possible care is available for Veteran patients.

As is the case with non-VA hospitals throughout the nation, some VA medical centers lack the expertise or staffing to provide 24/7/365 acute stroke consultation. NTSP was designed to assist sites in overcoming these challenges by using mobile and telehealth technologies to bring acute stroke expertise to the bedside anywhere in the country.


Image: The VHA-issued tablets enable VA TeleStroke care teams to activate TeleStroke protocols immediately in the event of a possible stroke.

NTSP moves away from traditional telecommunication hardware and is basing their platform on tablets. These tablets equip VA Providers with video teleconferencing, specific mobile applications (e.g., VA Video Connect, Image Viewing Solution, Patient Viewer), and enable quicker solutions than earlier technology systems.
 

   
 Dr. Sharyl Martini, Medical Director for VA’s National TeleStroke Program Dr. Glenn Graham, VA Deputy National Director of Neurology


“We’re taking something that we, at VA, have designed to work in an outpatient capacity and are adapting it for emergency use,” said Dr. Sharyl Martini, Medical Director for VA’s National TeleStroke Program and a neurologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston .  “We have seen first-hand the dramatic benefits of TeleStroke in acute stroke treatment, and are excited to offer this approach to our Veterans.”

VA facilities that partner with the NTSP will have access to some of the country’s best academic stroke neurologists, enabling emergency room consultations during the critical first 60 minutes of acute stroke onset. NTSP is not only benefitting Veterans in the treatment of acute stoke, but is also leveraging mobile technology to increase access, improve health outcomes and lower costs.
 
“Medicine has been relatively slow to adapt to new technology,” said Dr. Glenn Graham, VA Deputy National Director of Neurology. “What’s appealing about this program is that we are on the leading edge of a trend that we are going to see more of in the future, which is using 21st century tools in clinical medicine.”


 

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