Telemedicine aids Big Isle stroke patients
Brain-injured Big Island patients will be able to receive assessments and care without costly, time-consuming travel to Oahu.
The Queen's Medical Center's Neuroscience Institute recently received a $727,000 federal grant to acquire equipment so Queen's doctors can remotely assess patients with stroke, brain trauma or other neurological injuries at Hilo Medical Center and Kona Community Hospital.
All but one of Hawaii's neurosurgeons operate only on Oahu, often requiring neighbor island residents with a brain injury to travel to Oahu by air ambulance, Queen's officials said.
"Thanks to technology, Big Island residents will now have access to a level of neuroscience care that they did not have before," said Dr. Cherylee Chang, medical director of Queen's Neuroscience Institute/Neurocritical Care.
The institute, established in 1996, includes Hawaii's only Primary Stroke Center certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Chang is principal investigator of the telemedicine project, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Queen's neurologists will be able to examine a patient at the two Big Island hospitals and communicate with doctors to determine if a patient should be flown to Honolulu, according to a Queen's news release.