The Kane County Hospital Board recently approved a telemedicine agreement with Intermountain Healthcare concerning stroke response.

“Telemedicine is the wave of the future in medical response, especially in rural hospitals like ours,” said Kane County Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya.

The new service will be that when a patient comes into Kane County Hospital exhibiting stroke symptoms, a camera in the emergency room here will immediately record what’s happening and transfer the data and images to an on-call IHC doctor who specializes in this. He/she will respond with instructions on immediate care. Immediate response in strokes is crucial, and the advanced technology could definitely change the patient’s outcome!

“The patient comes into the emergency room, and we have the unit with the camera,” said Pandya. “The physician would dial up the interaction. The IHC physician specialist begins looking over the patient and suggesting responses.”

“Currently this agreement is just concerning strokes,” said Pandya, “and we are hoping that it will be completely set up by May. We are trying to get stroke receiver designation. We have contracted with IHC for years.”

She added that neonatal is another area that IHC will soon be involved with here, and later for psychiatric patients. “There is a need to intervene in crisis care. This will give us a more in-depth healthcare response. With the camera, an IHC specialist in that area of expertise can zoom in and see what’s happening with the patient.”

Kane County Hospital board member Karen Alvey said the agreement with IHC is important. “The specialist can see what is happening with the patient. That person can determine the appropriate response. This is really important for rural healthcare. We are trying to partner with people that can help us. This is a pilot experience.”