How Health Systems Evolved from Telestroke to an Enterprise Vision
The 10th annual InTouch Health Telehealth Innovation Forum was a showcase for many health systems that are moving beyond telestroke to an enterprise vision for virtual health.
The latter was the primary focus of a presentation by Chad Miller, MD, the system medical chief for neurocritical care at OhioHealth, whose telestroke program was underutilized. Most incoming calls did not involve tPA decision-making, but were non-stroke neurological problems like seizures and hypertensive emergencies.
Under Dr. Miller’s leadership, OhioHealth restructured the program to become a round-the-clock virtual health network, spanning 12 hospitals and 20 spoke facilities. This gave doctors the ability to do remote workups and assess a wide range of neurological conditions.
In the OhioHealth network, a neurologist can now provide coverage at a hospital 70 miles away, rather than having to drive, losing valuable time. For cases involving carotid revascularization, a patient can be promptly seen by a vascular neurologist before and after the procedure.
Dr. Miller then turned the podium over to Stephen Klasko, MD, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. In a high-energy keynote address, Klasko sang the praises of enterprise virtual networks. He noted that enterprise-wide virtual rounds and patient self-scheduling are starting to be utilized. His organization is also rolling out an innovative direct-to-employer model that uses telehealth technology to create strong partnerships with Philadelphia area employers.
Also at the 10th annual Telehealth Innovation Forum, speakers from HCA, The Cleveland Clinic, and Mayo Clinic discussed how their organizations successfully transitioned from a telestroke-centric perspective to comprehensive virtual care networks.
Telehealth’s future can perhaps best be described in the title of the Mayo Clinic presentation: An Enterprise Connected Care Strategy. Connected care is the key to a better future for healthcare, and must be designed by experts in the telehealth space.