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California Hospitals to Utilize Robot Technology to Treat Stroke Patients

May 8, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Robots will be dispatched to four southern California hospitals to provide a new level of stroke expertise from the neurosciences team at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

Physician specialists from Providence Saint Joseph in Burbank will see and speak with patients via computer monitor, review initial tests and diagnose and direct treatment—all courtesy of a state-of-the-art robotic system which includes mapping technology that allows the doctor to direct the robot to various patients on a single unit.

“Evidence shows far better outcomes for stroke patients who are treated as soon as possible by neurologists, but not all hospitals have interventional neurologists, neurosurgeons and other sub-specialists on staff,” Patrice Hallak, regional director or neurosciences and orthopedics for Providence Health & Services, Southern California, said in a statement. “Our new 24-hour Telestroke Center brings the experts at Providence Saint to hospital bedsides across the Valley.”

Under a new partnership, Providence Saint Joseph will work with community hospitals —including sister hospital Providence Tarzana Medical Center—to visit virtually with patients and coordinate treatment. Also contracting are Sherman Oaks Hospital, Encino Hospital and Mission Community Hospitals in Panorama City. Through a secure two-way videoconferencing system, a Providence Saint Joseph neurologist can review patient records and diagnostic results, perform a full examination and consult with local clinicians to help determine the best course of treatment.

“This network allows for the creation of a true “spoke-and-hub” model of care that will advance the delivery of state-of-the-art stroke management to patients in our community,” said Scott Brewster, M.D., medical director of the Providence Tarzana Emergency Department and chief medical officer of Emergent Medical Associates.

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