Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fauquier Hospital Introduces New Tool for 24/7 Stroke Care

Fauquier Hospital was confirmed as a Certified Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission in February of 2011 and passed its annual inspection on March 23. The designation recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. To receive accreditation, hospitals must demonstrate compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and standards.

Fauquier Hospital’s stroke program provides a coordinated response to treat patients who present symptoms of a possible stroke. Ina Bowman, director of Fauquier Hospital’s Emergency Department, explained the importance of quick action in case of a stroke: “Some stroke patients can dramatically increase their chances of a full recovery if they receive certain medication within 180 minutes of the onset of symptoms.” When a potential stroke patient comes into the emergency room, an alert goes out to physicians, CAT scan staff and the laboratory, as well as speech, occupational, and physical therapists. These professionals work together to determine if the patient is a candidate for the clot-busting medication.

Beginning April 2, Fauquier Hospital will have another tool to help address stroke symptoms quickly. Fauquier Hospital Emergency Department physicians will collaborate via crystal clear video feed with board-certified neurologists to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat patients suffering from neurological emergencies, including stroke. This partnership with Specialists On Call, Inc., will give patients access to around-the-clock critical care in neurology.

Chief Medical Officer Anhtai Nguyen, M.D., said, “Our neurologists provide consistent and high quality of care for all stroke patients, but cannot be on call every minute of every day. Because timely treatment is so crucial in stroke cases, we felt it was vital to always have a neurologist available to assess patients immediately.”

“With Fauquier Hospital’s new state-of-the-art technology, a neurologist will be able to read CT scans and lab results in real time, discuss treatment with the patient and the patient’s family, and recommend medication and procedures without delay.”

Specialists on Call’s board-certified, fellowship-trained specialists adhere to strict standards of practice when discussing, diagnosing and recommending treatment options to hospital staff and patients. With videoconferencing technology and secure lines of communication, neurologists will interact directly with hospital physicians, nurses, patients and their families in a completely personalized bedside consultation, making the experience comfortable for all involved.

Specialists on Call is located in Leesburg, Virginia and operates in 180 hospitals across 12 states, providing more than 1,500 consultations a month.

In any community, highly qualified medical specialists are in demand. Once a patient displaying acute stroke symptoms arrives in the ED, the teleneurology program assures that a specialist is providing expertise within 15 minutes. For stroke patients, that could make all the difference for a full recovery.

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