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McKenzie Health System Demonstrates Telemedicine

demo-2How rural hospitals are bettering healthcare for their communities

Saving lives and increasing quality of life, McKenzie Health System formed the Stroke Network with St. John Providence Health System’s Van Elslander Neuroscience Center of Excellence in 2012, employing telemedicine and a network of neuroscience specialists to effectively treat strokes.

“I would like to emphasize the fact that developing this technology took a lot of hard work and collaboration between McKenzie Health System and St. John Providence Health System.  Being able to provide access to a world class Neuroscience Center of Excellence for the patients in our community can make a significant difference in how a patient suffering from a stroke will survive.  This is all about getting the best treatment available going as quickly as possible, and this is how we save lives,” shares Mark Hamed, MD, MBA, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at McKenzie.

Telemedicine DemonstrationOn May 24, as part of the “National Stroke Awareness Month” focus, staff from McKenzie Health System and St. John Providence Health System held a demonstration to illustrate how this collaboration directly benefits patients. The mock demonstration showed how a stroke patient is treated by on-call neuroscience specialists and targeted telemedicine services.

Using advanced audiovisual technology, evaluation and treatment of stroke patients is expedited by remotely accessing St. John Providence’s medical experts via the 24/7 NeuroOnCall telemedicine service. When a patient is admitted for stroke-like symptoms, staff use an audio- and visual-enabled robot so the stroke neurologist can see and communicate with the patient via live video feed, while also viewing lab results and diagnostic imaging. Family members can also speak with the specialist.

“This is all about bringing the latest advances and best care to patients in our community,” said Steve Barnett, CEO and president of McKenzie Health System. “We are incredibly proud of our innovative medical services that change and save lives every day.”

As an extension of St. John’s Stroke Network, this technology will also become available to patients presenting with stroke-like symptoms to Marlette Regional H ospital beginning in mid-June. In addition to utilization of this technology in the inpatient and emergency settings, planning is in place for this technology to be used for behavioral health needs in the future.
Sponsored by the National Stroke Association, National Stroke Awareness Month is designed to educate the public about stroke risk factors, symptoms and preventative measures. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke, according to the American Stroke Association, interrupting blood supply to the brain, and prompt treatment often means the difference between life and death.

Video footage of the May 24 demonstration will be available on the McKenzie Health System website, www.mckenziehealth.org, in the coming weeks. For additional information or questions, call 810-648-3770.


Top Photo – Neurologist Bruce Silverman, DO, St. John Providence Health System, communicates with the “patient” (Steve Barnett). Dr. Mark Hamed is prepared for the next steps based on the outcome.

Demonstration Presenters – Staff from McKenzie Health System (MHS) and St. John Providence Health System (STPHS) prepare for the May 24th demonstration. (l to r) Mark Hamed, MD, MBA, MPH, MHS Medical Director, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Hospital Medicine; Steve Barnett, DHA, CRNA, MHS President & CEO; Jennifer Palace, RN, MSN, Nurse Educator Neuro Telemedicine, SJPHS; and Vickie Gordon NP-C, PhD, SJPHS Director of Telehealth.

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