Residents in northwest Georgia can now receive neurology and stroke diagnosis closer to home through a telemedicine partnership between Floyd Medical Center and Erlanger Health System.
“We are pleased to work with Erlanger Health System to offer our patients tele-neurology care,” said Kurt Stuenkel, president and CEO of Floyd Medical Center. “This collaboration will enhance the immediate excellent care our award-winning Primary Stroke Center already provides.”
"This innovative new program will improve access to specialty trained stroke neurologists to consult and diagnose, reducing the time for lifesaving treatment for patients suffering from stroke," officials said. "By offering access to neurology specialists through telemedicine, some patients may even have the opportunity to receive stroke treatment closer to home rather than transferring to another medical facility."
“This tele-neurology collaboration highlights our shared commitment with Floyd to provide excellent care to those suffering from an acute neurological emergency, such as stroke,” said Matthew Shafer, Erlanger’s administrative director of telemedicine. “Tele-medicine has proven time and time again to be a powerful tool in expanding lifesaving specialty care throughout a larger region.”
Officials said, "Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. It affects patients of all ages. The disease happens when a blood vessel carrying blood and oxygen to the brain is blocked or ruptures, decreasing the amount of blood flow to the brain cells. Risk factors for stroke disease can include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, family history of stroke and prior stroke or transient ischemic attack.
"In order to receive faster diagnosis and medical treatment, people must first recognize the signs of stroke and act F.A.S.T.:
• Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?;
• Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?;
• Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is her speech slurred or strange?; and
• Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
"Floyd has Advanced Certification for its Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission. The certification recognizes centers that have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.
"Additionally, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has honored Floyd with its Get with the Guidelines - Stroke GOLD PLUS Recognition. Hospitals receiving this award have reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 12 months. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance to seven out of 10 stroke quality measures during the 12-month period."