Inside the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation in Rochester, a new initiative is taking shape: the development of Mayo’s Center for Connected Care.
“This is a major initiative of the Mayo Clinic across all of its campuses,” says Dr. Bart Demaerschalk, director of the Mayo Clinic’s telestroke and teleneurology program and a vascular neurologist with the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. The vision is to “provide virtual care to patients regionally, within states that are historically Mayo Clinic territories, but also nationally and globally.” And not just in Demaerschalk’s specialty of stroke diagnosis and treatment.
“We imagine that Mayo Clinic can provide telemedicine across every medical and surgical discipline that our institution provides service for,” he says.
Mayo, like many other health care systems, is already engaged in virtual care on a number of fronts: in radiology, dermatology, infectious diseases, and other fields. Demaerschalk’s work in Arizona six years ago helped pave the way.
He and colleagues used technology to improve the speed and effectiveness of communication between Mayo’s stroke neurologists in Scottsdale and the emergency room teams at Arizona’s small regional hospitals. The telestroke platform’s audio, video, and digital connections put a Mayo specialist in the ER virtually, able to talk with patients, see and be seen by them, monitor vital signs, and use diagnostic tools. It was a big improvement over the norm of simply doing consults with emergency physicians on the phone, or transferring the patient to a stroke center. The result, in a clinical study, was a 14 percentage point increase in the accuracy of diagnosis and emergency treatment for stroke.
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Via Chatu Jayadewa