Friday, July 21, 2017

Telemedicine advances stroke care at Sutter Amador Hospital

JACKSON, CA – Imagine getting specialized, personal care from a neurologist more than 100 miles away. With Sutter Amador Hospital’s new Telestroke program, neurologists at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) can provide accurate, targeted and prompt neurological care to patients locally.

“The first 60 minutes after someone arrives at a hospital with stroke symptoms are a critical window for starting treatments that can limit the side effects and potential damage of a stroke,” said Donald Van Fossan. M.D., neurologist at Sutter Amador Hospital.

Using the Telestroke program, Sutter Amador Hospital’s Emergency Department physicians can speak directly with neurologists at CPMC via one-on-one video consultations. CPMC neurologists provide patient care recommendations for any patient presenting with a stroke or stroke-like symptoms. With real-time guidance from neurologists, local physicians are able to apply the most modern stroke treatments, bringing top-notch care and optimizing outcomes for stroke patients.

“The Telestroke program and this technology allows us to increase the specialized services that we offer our patients in this community,” said Anne Platt, Sutter Amador Hospital CEO. “It connects the right people at the right time.”

As a certified Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, Sutter Amador Hospital’s medical specialists, nurses and staff are dedicated to reducing the incidence and impact of strokes.

“Assessing patients as quickly as possible is top priority,” said to Donald Van Fossan, M.D. neurologist at Sutter Amador Hospital. “When a stroke patient comes through our doors, fast and efficient imaging is essential.”

The hospital recently installed a new 64-slice CT scanner that provides detailed 3D imaging in a faster scan with less radiation. A CT scan is usually one of the first tests completed in a stroke evaluation.

In addition to the Telestroke program, Sutter Amador Hospital uses an eICU (technology that allows nurses to monitor and acts as a second set of eyes on the sickest patients) and is among several Sutter Health affiliates that are testing a telepsychiatry program that will roll out later this year.

“The program is still in the first phase but offers a lot of potential for patients in our community,” said Pat Adams, director of the Sutter Amador Hospital Critical Care department. “I am interested and excited to see how we can use technology and these programs to provide a diverse level of care.”

For more information about the signs of a stroke, visit the National Stroke Association at

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