MaineHealth Telestroke Network

The MaineHealth Telestroke Network strives to improve stroke care by using technology to make it fast and easy for stroke patients to get advice from a Neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor that specializes in the treatment of problems affecting the brain. When you or a loved one are having a stroke, getting the right treatment quickly can lead to a more complete recovery in the months after a stroke.

What is Telestroke?

Telestroke is a way for specially-trained doctors to evaluate, diagnose, and make a treatment plan for patients at local hospitals where a stroke expert is not available. A Telestroke consultation uses two-way videoconferencing to connect you, your loved one and your local emergency department (ED) care team with a stroke expert at another hospital.

Why is Telestroke helpful in stroke care?

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you are having a stroke, you need to be seen right away by a medical provider who specializes in stroke treatment. Many local hospitals do not have stroke experts on site but your local ED care team can work with a stroke expert from a different hospital through a Telestroke consultation.

What is a Telestroke consultation?

The stroke expert will assess you or your loved one using a two-way teleconferencing system to see and speak with you and your local ED care team. Together they will recommend the best care plan for you or your loved one. Your team may also suggest that you or your loved one should be moved to another hospital for more care.

What are the benefits of Telestroke?

Telestroke lets a stroke expert give you care quickly, even if they are not able to be there with you at the hospital. The care given through the Telestroke consultation will be the same type of care you would get from a stroke expert in person.

What are the risks of Telestroke?

There are no known or expected risks from taking part in a Telestroke consultation. The appointment will not be recorded and no photographs will be taken. The information shared during the consultation will be documented in the patient’s medical record.

For more information about the MaineHealth Telestroke Network, please contact Stephanie Gagne at SLGagne@MaineHealth.org.

Program Highlights

The MaineHealth Telestroke Network was established in 2015. Stroke experts from Maine Medical Center provide emergency consults for stroke patients at partner hospitals 24/7.

The MaineHealth Telestroke Network operates as part of Maine Medical Center, the first and only healthcare facility in Maine to earn distinction as a Comprehensive Stroke Center from the Joint Commission. We bring the expertise of top neurologists to community hospital emergency departments, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Using state-of-the-art videoconferencing and electronic transfer of CT scans, the network gives community-based physicians timely access to consultations from specialists skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. The following hospitals participate in the MaineHealth Telestroke Network:

 

Quality Outcomes

Number of Telestroke Consults by Year:

 

Total = 784

Telestroke Network at a Glance

Average callback time for a Telestroke consult request

< 5 minutes

Percentage of eligible acute Telestroke patients who receive *tPA

60%

Percentage of Telestroke patients who receive *tPA in less than 60 minutes

44%

*tPA stands for tissue plasminogen activator and is a medicine used to dissolve blood clots in the brain that are causing a stroke. Not all stroke patients are able to have tPA.

tPA-Associated Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ICH) for Telestroke Patients

Complications from taking tPA include bleeding in the brain, also called intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). If a stroke patient has bleeding in the brain after getting tPA, and it makes their condition worse, it is called a “symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage”.

For more information about the MaineHealth Telestroke Network, please contact Stephanie Gagne at SLGagne@MaineHealth.org.