Tennessee Medicine E-Journal


BACKGROUND: Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) conducted a teleneurology consultation program with affiliated hospitals. Teleneurology services were conducted for acute neurologic emergencies using a low-cost, handheld tablet platform.

METHODS: During a 13 month period, VUMC conducted teleneurology services to a total of six remote hospitals. VUMC’s Access Center connected remote hospital’s patient and physician with VUMC’s on-call neurologist. Real-time teleneurology consultations were then conducted via tablet. Applications within the tablet platform included two-way video conferencing, image sharing, and medical record documentation sharing.

RESULTS: For this analysis, 908 consultations were conducted. Remote hospitals treated and discharged 95% of patients, yielding a 5% transfer rate. Primary cases included 41% stroke, 13% seizure, and 6% headache/migraine. 14% of stroke patients were administered IV-tPA treatment. Remote hospital physicians completed physician satisfaction surveys for teleneurologists as 45% excellent, 47% satisfactory, and 8% unsatisfactory.

CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that conducting remote teleneurology consultations via tablet is an economical and HIPPA-compliant solution for acute neurologic emergencies.