Regional telemedicine network brings specialized stroke care to Goshen Hospital

07/23/2018

Patients now have a stroke expert virtually at their bedside minutes after they arrive at Goshen Hospital.

The telemedicine-based connection links Goshen doctors and patients with specialists in the StrokeCareNow Network (SCNN). Goshen Health joined the regional physician network in July.

SCNN provides community hospitals like Goshen with 24/7 access to advanced neurological care. It’s a level of stroke care usually available only in larger hospitals. Stroke experts within the SCNN network are affiliated with Fort Wayne Neurological Center, Lutheran Health Network and Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“Our Emergency Department doctors dial up the network’s neurologist on call to help make time-sensitive, critical decisions about treatment,” said Jody Neer, MD, Neurologist at Goshen Physicians NeuroCare Center. “Patients can get the care they need right away and close to home.”

Goshen is the first hospital in north central Indiana to join the StrokeCareNow Network. It is one of 26 hospitals in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan that belong to this regional network.

Time is critical for stroke patients

Activation of the telemedicine system begins minutes after a patient arrives in the Emergency Department. The Goshen care team uses iPad-based technology to link the patient and stroke specialist in real time. Videoconferencing and access to lab tests and imaging give the neurologist critical information to assess the severity of the stroke and determine treatment.

“This allows us to deliver appropriate clot-busting drugs within 60 minutes for the best outcome,” said Angel Keene, MSN, RN, CEN, Director of Emergency Department at Goshen Hospital. If the patient is not a candidate for medication, the SCNN neurologist can recommend transport to a primary stroke center for intervention and critical care.

Rapid treatment helps save lives and reduce risk of significant, long-term disability. Stroke patients need treatment within four-and-a-half hours of the first display of symptoms for the best possible outcome.

“Our partnership with StrokeCareNow Network raises the bar for the care of stroke patients in our community,” said Rob Myers, Chief Operating Officer at Goshen Health. “It gives our care team timely access to stroke care expertise when our patients need it most.”

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability. It also accounts for nearly 40 percent of deaths in Indiana, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Think F.A.S.T. to spot stroke signs

If someone near you shows any of these symptoms, it’s time to call 9-1-1 for help.
Face drooping
Arm weakness
Speech difficulty
Time to call 9-1-1

About the StrokeCareNow Network:
Fort Wayne Neurological Center, Lutheran Health Network and Parkview Health formed the StrokeCareNow Network (SCNN) in 2008 to provide advanced stroke care to rural parts of the region. Today, 26 hospitals in a tri-state area participate in the network. They use the SCNN neurologist to assist local emergency physicians in determining if the patient is appropriate for clot-busting therapy known as tPA treatment or needs more advanced care. For more information, visit www.StrokeCareNow.com.