In addition to an on-call neurologist, an immediately available stroke neurologist can be present 24/7 via the new robot. This device allows a remote neuro specialist to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient based on data he/she receives from the emergency department staff and observations he/she makes from viewing the patient.
“This new technology is so important because many stroke patients must be treated within three hours of the onset of symptoms,” explains Dr. Eric Nussbaum, Chairman, MetroSouth Medical Center emergency department. “Our stroke patients may now have a better outcome because we can we can obtain a neuro consultatation anytime of the day or night.”
Like a more interactive Skype, this robot, called the RP Lite Robot Unit, can turn its head to better view the patient and zoom in, allowing the physician on the other end to get so close they can check a patient’s pupils or other vital signs. While controlling what the robot does on the other side, the doctor can also read scans and talk to the patient and emergency room staff. The robot can be wheeled to any patient room so that the consulting neurologist can treat patients anywhere in the hospital.
The robot allows for an ideal collaboration between the ED staff, ED physician and the consulting neurologist. “I like the fact that it feels like the neurologist is right in the room with us,” explains Gayle Toscano, Director, MetroSouth emergency services. During the robotic consultation, the emergency department physician relays his physical assessment findings and other pertinent information to the remote physician. The physicians can share data, images and discuss the best course of treatment for the patient.
MetroSouth’s emergency department is partnering with Rush University Medical Center to provide the immediate 24-hour neurology consultation for stroke patients. “Rush is thrilled to be partnering with an exceptional hospital like MetroSouth in this innovative endeavor. We will touch many lives and deliver high level acute stroke care -- all as simple as a few mouse clicks,” explains Shyam Prabhakaran, MD, MS, Rush University Medical Center.
By Ann Pitcher