As of Wednesday, the Beckley VA Medical Center is now offering stroke patients potentially life-saving services through a telemedicine partnership, TeleStroke. 

Every moment that passes without assessment and treatment can be detrimental, the release said. With TeleStroke, the Beckley VA will be able to provide better and faster acute stoke care.

The VA National TeleStroke Program (NTSP) provides emergent telehealth care by qualified stroke neurologists to veterans with stroke symptoms at VA Medical Centers that do not have stroke neurologists on site. The release said it provides facilities with 24-hour, seven days a week stroke neurology using telehealth technologies. 

The NTSP uses VA-issued mobile tablets to connect VA emergency departments and intensive care units that lack on-site stroke expertise to the on-call TeleStroke neurologist. Veterans with acute stroke symptoms at facilities participating in NTSP are assessed in real-time via videoconference by a TeleStroke neurologist who consults with the local physician as to the recommended diagnosis and treatment.

After the initial assessment and treatment, VA medical professionals team with partners at Raleigh General Hospital and WVU Medicine to get the veteran the follow-on care that he or she needs.

“We are confident this innovation will improve care to many veterans, especially in our rural catchment area,” said Beckley VAMC Chief of Staff Dr. Mark Harris. “The Beckley VAMC is excited to implement this potentially lifesaving service.” 

— Email: wholdren@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @WendyHoldren

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