A new agreement reached between Tuba City Regional Health Care and Mayo Clinic in Arizona, will provide residents of the city reported to be the largest in the Navajo Nation in need of emergency medical care for stroke, access to a Mayo Clinic “telestroke” program, according to a recent news release. The service will be available to Tuba City Regional Health Care and is slated to start as early as November.

Joseph Engelken, CEO, Tuba City Regional Health Care, explains that, “This telestroke partnership between our physicians and Mayo Clinic means our Navajo and Hopi patients can now have immediate high-tech, state of the art stroke care.”

Tuba City Regional Health Care will become the 12th hospital to be a part of the telestroke service offered by Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic Telestroke Network reportedly includes Arizona hospitals in Kingman, Flagstaff, Parker, Cottonwood, Show Low, Globe, Yuma, Bisbee, Casa Grande, Phoenix, and a hospital in St. Joseph, Mo.

Bart Demaerschalk, MD, professor of neurology, medical director of Mayo Clinic Telestroke, discusses the potential benefits of the program. Demaerschalk notes that emergency physicians at Tuba Center Regional Health Care have the ability to call the telestroke hotline to be connected with Mayo Clinic stroke experts and in addition, “Urgent and immediate virtual care can be provided to patients—collaboration between stroke neurologists and physicians at the remote sites has resulted in 96% accuracy in diagnosing stroke,” Demaerschalk says.

The release also notes that the results of a US health economic analysis suggest that telestroke care appears to be cost-effective for rural hospitals that may not have an around-the-clock neurologist or stroke expert on staff. The researcher appears in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Source: Mayo Clinic