Each year, medical staff diagnose about 4,500 Veterans with an acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability.
The VA National Telestroke Program (NTSP) serves Veterans with acute stroke symptoms at VA emergency departments, urgent care centers, and hospitals. It offers acute stroke expertise to VA facilities that lack around-the-clock acute stroke coverage.
The NTSP is comprised of a virtual “hub” of VA stroke neurologists located around the country. They staff a 24/7/365 call schedule to provide coverage to participating VA facilities. When a Veteran with acute stroke symptoms presents at a participating facility, front-line staff use a mobile device to video conference with the telestroke neurologist.
According to Bill Cerniuk, NTSP chief technology officer, the field of VA Telemedicine continues to expand and is positively impacting care for our Veterans.