Bethany Miller, former stroke patient at University of Louisville Hospital, is one of many to benefit from UofL Health Care’s Remote Physician Presence Robot Network. The telemedicine program is delivering innovative treatments to rural areas that otherwise would not have access to specialized care.
UofL Health Care’s Remote Physician Presence Robot Network is the first hospital-based telemedicine program in Kentucky. It is a collaboration with other hospitals in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to provide the best treatment options for patients in specialties such as stroke and general neurology.
Among the many benefits from the robotic network is a near instant medical consult from specialists. UofL physicians collaborate with physicians and nurses in other hospitals to deliver prompt diagnoses and appropriate treatment plans. The ultimate goal is for the patient to remain in their hometown hospital without a transfer unless it is deemed necessary.
Before the robot is used for medical consults, UofL physicians educate and train doctors and nurses at partner hospitals. For example, University Hospital’s stroke neurologists share information with partner facilities on the appropriate treatment for acute stroke patients; general neurologists demonstrate neurological examinations before a robotic consult ever occurs.
The education, training and robot consultations are all tools that improve patient outcomes. Research has shown that telestroke networks decrease in-hospital mortality rates and the number of poor outcomes following a stroke.
Robotic consults offer the flexibility of remote exams, complete with real time, two-way video and audio capabilities. UofL physicians can view vital signs, assist with patient assessments and communicate with patients and families without actually being in the room.
Technology makes the process possible, but the teamwork between the hospitals is what makes telemedicine successful and improves care in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Regional Care Partners
List of UofL Health Care’s partners in the remote physician presence robot network:
- Owensboro Medical Health System, Owensboro, Kentucky
- Spring View Hospital, Lebanon, Kentucky
- Taylor Regional Hospital, Campbellsville, Kentucky
- Jennie Stuart Medical Center, Hopkinsville, Kentucky
- Hardin Memorial Hospital, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
- TJ Samson Community Hospital, Glasgow, Kentucky
- Methodist Hospital, Henderson, Kentucky
- Frankfort Regional Medical Center, Frankfort, Kentucky
- Memorial Hospital & Health Care Center, Jasper, Indiana