Te­le­stroke ser­vices ex­panded to O’Leary

Pro­gram pro­vides sur­vivors di­rect ac­cess to stroke team in Char­lot­te­town

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY ERIC MCCARTHY

“Ex­pand­ing te­le­stroke ser­vices to ru­ral hos­pi­tals is pro­vid­ing bet­ter ac­cess to care for Is­lan­ders and in­creased sup­ports avail­able right in their com­mu­ni­ties.” Health and Well­ness Min­is­ter Robert Hen­der­son

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s te­le­stroke pro­gram is be­ing ex­panded to Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal O’Leary.

Health and Well­ness Min­is­ter Robert Hen­der­son an­nounced the ser­vice ex­pan­sion Wed­nes­day in O’Leary dur­ing the hos­pi­tal’s 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion.

Te­le­stroke, the min­is­ter ex­plained, is a com­po­nent of the prov­ince’s tele­health pro­gram.

It will al­low area stroke sur­vivors di­rect ac­cess to a stroke team in Char­lot­te­town from a room at Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal O’Leary via a large-screen camera.

A stroke nurse, phys­io­ther­a­pist or oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist would be in the room with the stroke sur­vivor.

“For the most part, it saves them hav­ing to travel to Char­lot­te­town,” Health P.E.I. com­mu­ni­ca­tions tele­vi­sion and a of­fi­cer Amanda Hamel ex­plained.

The ser­vice is pro­vided through a se­cure net­work.

There is no new staff re­quired as dis­trict-level stroke staff is al­ready based in West Prince.

Pro­vin­cial stroke pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor Tr­ish HelmNeim said te­le­stroke “is an emerg­ing best prac­tice in medicine that al­lows us to pro­vide the timely and con­ve­nient ac­cess to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive stroke care to our pa­tients while also pro­vid­ing en­hanced col­lab­o­ra­tion among our health-care providers and stroke spe­cial­ists.”

Hen­der­son said the ex­pan­sion was made pos­si­ble through a co-funded in­vest­ment of $15,000 from the foun­da­tion and the P.E.I. Women’s In­sti­tute.

Te­le­stroke was first ex­panded to Prince County Hos­pi­tal and sub­se­quently to Western and then Souris hos­pi­tals.

“Ex­pand­ing te­le­stroke ser­vices to ru­ral hos­pi­tals is pro­vid­ing bet­ter ac­cess to care for Is­lan­ders and in­creased sup­ports avail­able right in their com­mu­ni­ties,” said Hen­der­son.

He said on­go­ing ad­vance­ments and growth in stroke care are due to the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of staff and sup­port from com­mu­nity part­ners.

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