Six Vidant Health Hospitals Join Wake Forest Baptist Telestroke Network

February 3, 2016

Bringing Number of Hospitals in the Network to 20

Six of Vidant Health’s hospitals are joining the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Telestroke Network.

Fully operational members include Vidant Beaufort Hospital in Washington, Vidant Duplin Hospital in Kenansville, and Vidant Edgecombe in Tarboro. Later this year, Vidant Bertie Hospital in Windsor, Vidant Chowan Hospital in Edenton and Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie will be integrated into the network.

The central purpose of the Wake Forest Baptist Telestroke Network is to reduce death and disability caused by strokes. It accomplishes this by partnering with community hospitals to ensure that they have 24-hour access to Wake Forest Baptist’s acute-stroke experts via two-way live video and audio consultation and image-sharing technology.

The Telestroke Network’s system employs highly specialized telemedicine robots and carts that allow a Wake Forest Baptist stroke expert to evaluate a patient at a member hospital and consult with emergency department doctors there in real time via the Internet. Together, the physicians can determine the best course of action to take.

“We are very pleased to begin this collaboration with emergency medicine physicians at Vidant Health hospitals, to provide rapid response when stroke is suspected,” said Charles H. Tegeler, M.D., medical director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Telestroke Network.  “Telestroke is a service that strengthens the care provided in the local community while providing access to state-of-the-art acute stroke interventions. We find that about half of telestroke consults result in patients remaining at the community hospital where they are treated to recuperate near to family and friends.”

Wake Forest Baptist’s stroke specialists, each with years of experience in the care of stroke patients, and additional training or board certification in vascular neurology, make up the largest team of stroke neurologists in the region. Since the Telestroke Network was established in 2009, consultations have been requested more than 2,200 times.

“We are excited to be able to bring this technology to our community hospitals and the patients they serve,” said Todd Hickey, senior vice president at Vidant Medical Center. “This program offered by Wake Forest Baptist gives us the opportunity to utilize technology to deliver care immediately and partner with a team that can help us save more lives across eastern North Carolina.”

This collaboration is an example of the innovations being launched among members of Socius Health Solutions, LLC, the shared services organization formed in 2014 by Vidant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and WakeMed Health & Hospitals.

The other members of the Telestroke Network are Wake Forest Baptist Health – Lexington Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Health – Davie Medical Center, Alleghany Memorial Hospital in Sparta, Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville, Carteret Health in Morehead City, Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, Granville Health System in Oxford (in partnership with WakeMed Health and Hospitals), Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville, Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston, Watauga Medical Center in Boone and Wilkes Regional Medical Center in North Wilkesboro. 

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