Your Healthy Family

Jul 21, 2014 8:26 PM by Annie Snead

Your Healthy Family: Telemedicine

Specialists are able to offer care to patients from a remote location, providing better and faster care. And for people having a stroke, every minute counts. 

Dr. William Jones is a neurologist at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, but he's helping a "mock patient" in Colorado Springs - the new "Tele-stroke" project.

"They have access to specialist care remotely, without having to travel and readily available to them, so the best care possible as close to home as possible," said Dr. Jones.

Through logging onto a website that connects to the camera, they're able to talk with the patient, look up medical records, plus:

"They have stethoscopes that can be attached to them so we can listen to heart and lungs," added Dr. Jones.

At Memorial Hospital, nurse Stephanie Schlenger is physically present to help with the examination. She's the stroke program coordinator.

"Strokes don't hurt, so people don't think about it as much, where if you're having a heart attack - you're going to have chest pain, it you're having trauma and something's bleeding...obviously you're going to get it fixed right away," Schlenger said. 

If you're having a stroke, it could be a sign as simple as a headache. After taking a nap you could wake up and not be able to move, precious time - lost.

"It's what we fight against and it's what we try and fix and diminish those time frames," she said.

Schlenger says there has been good feedback and a lot of times a patient will spend more time with the remote doctor.

"I think the way that it's going to really help is in rural and remote hospitals or even in communities where they do have expertise but can't cover 24/7," said Dr. Jones.

"It's kind of cool, for a physician to be able to beam in from a remote location and say I've seen your patient, this is what I recommend that you do..it's great!" said Schlenger.

Dr. Jones says many other specialties are looking into telemedicine and it's also being tested in ambulances and in peoples homes. He thinks it's only going to grow more and more over the years.

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