Brain and Spine Conditions - Neurology

Stroke care, close to home

Ascension Saint Thomas Telestroke Network provides a new way for patients to see a stroke care specialist at your local primary care doctor's office.

Telestroke Network

For more information about telemedicine services at Ascension Saint Thomas, email telemedicine@sth.org

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ascension Saint Thomas doctors specializing in stroke medicine deliver high-quality care to patients in other communities. The Ascension Saint Thomas Telestroke Network uses high-definition video conferencing equipment to create a virtual visit with the stroke specialist.  Our doctors are able to hear the heartbeat, view a live ECG, and speak with the patient directly through the real-time connection, allowing for more efficient diagnostic and treatment process when you see your primary care doctor.

In Tennessee, many patients have to travel long distances to have an appointment with a stroke specialist. Not only can the trip be expensive, it can require patients to take more time off work and may even involve other family members or care takers for transportation. With Ascension Saint Thomas’s Telestroke Network, patients are able to save time and money, while receiving the same high-quality of care from our stroke specialists.

How Telestroke care works

The patient will go to their local Ascension hospital or primary clinic for their appointment. After checking in at the front desk, the patient will be taken to an exam room with telehealth equipment. A nurse or medical assistant will attend the appointment to serve as the “hands” for the specialist. Before the video session begins, the nurse or medical assistant will enter the patient’s medical history, current vitals, and any health concerns into the electronic medical record (EMR). All of this information is accessible to the stroke care specialist.

Stroke care specialists are highly experienced in neurology and physical medicine. At the telestroke appointment, the high-definition video camera provides a full view of the patient and open microphone communication. The doctor may request that the camera zoom in to look more closely to evaluate body functions. The video and still images are available as part of the patient's medical file for future reference.

Telestroke care: Safety and compliance

At Ascension Saint Thomas, our telemedicine programs are conducted using HIPAA compliant software programs. Your information is secure and only you, your stroke care doctor and  the onsite care team are able to view and hear any information exchanged during your telestroke appointment.