McDowell Hospital provides speedier, quality care through telehealth services for Emergency Department stroke patient.
Stroke patients who come to McDowell Hospital’s Emergency Department can now receive an even higher quality of care and treatment thanks to audiovisual telehealth capabilities established there, through Mission Health System, in May of 2011. OTTO, which stands for on-site, two-way telehealth operator, allows the patient and his or her physician in the McDowell Emergency Department to see and talk face to face with board certified specialists at Mission Hospital, who can evaluate the patient and provide Neurological expertise. This technology also allows for a quality-based continuum of care, if a patient is evaluated at McDowell Hospital and has to be transferred to Mission for further attention, as in the case of patient Betty Kirby.
“It was strange because I didn’t even know we had that. I could hear the doctor and I could see him; he told me I was coming to Mission and he was there waiting for me” states Kirby of her telehealth experience. Kirby was admitted to the McDowell Hospital Emergency room on September 5th, and while being treated for stroke symptoms, she found herself face to face with OTTO, the green-bowtie-wearing telehealth robot. “It was an experience but if you think about it, it saves your life. It was right…it helps you.” Now back at home and feeling much better, Kirby happily shares her story with others hoping “it will help other people who don’t know OTTO is there.”
“Telehealth technology is a wonderful and much-needed service that we are glad to be able to provide to our patients in McDowell County” says Dr. Rex Henderson, Medical Director of the Carolina Mountain Emergency Medicine group of ED physicians at Mission and McDowell Hospital. “Since the go-live date in May, we have been able to offer evaluation of acute stroke patients by Board Certified Neurologists for patients who otherwise would have had to wait until they were transferred to Mission for such care. In the case of stroke patients, every second counts, so this type of technology is instrumental in providing quality care.