People who suffer a stroke in the Bathurst region now have access to cutting edge health care with the introduction of a Telestroke Service.
Bathurst Health Service is of the $21.7 million NSW Telestroke Project which uses telehealth technology to provide patients with timely access to treatment.
When a person shows symptoms of a stroke the Telestroke service delivers time-critical care by linking metropolitan-based specialists with the local team at Bathurst hospital.
Bathurst Hospital General Manager, Cathy Marshall, said “This is a great opportunity for the Bathurst Health Service. It means we will be able to provide world-class, hyper acute stroke care for patients with suspected stroke regardless of our rural location.”
“Stroke is a medical emergency requiring timely access to specialist care. Fast treatment can save brain function.”
“Telestroke will enable us to be in direct contact with specialist neurologists physicians.
“Using screen-sharing technology provided by the state’s digital health agency eHealth NSW, those specialists gain full access to world-class patient imaging as it is being processed – allowing time-critical diagnosis and immediate treatment of stroke patients.
“This means that if a patient in Bathurst has a stroke, they can be assessed 24 hours a day by stroke specialists using Telestroke kiosks. These are equipped with high-definition cameras and audio devices and linked to NSW Health’s electronic medical record systems.
“The specialists dial in and they have the patient and the local team in front of them. This is technology that improves the care of stroke patients, supports the local medical specialist team, and provides specialist neurologist to teach trainee doctors at Bathurst Hospital 24 hours a day”.
“This service is a fantastic addition to the specialist health care we provide to patients at the Bathurst Health Service. We are committed to providing world class health care for people across the Central West”. Ms Marshall said.
In June this year, the NSW Government announced the NSW Telestroke service which has already helped hundreds of patients. Telestroke will be rolled out to up to 23 sites over three years, with a service at Dubbo commencing operation this month.
In 2018-19, 13,651 people were hospitalised for a stroke in NSW. Of those, 32 per cent were from regional, rural or remote areas.
The NSW Telestroke Service is a collaboration between the NSW Ministry of Health, the Agency for Clinical Innovation, and eHealth.