Stroke Awareness Month Reminds Providers of New Guidelines

Stroke Awareness Month F-A-S-T

The aim of Stroke Awareness Month is to help educate the public about the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. Outreach is focused on teaching the signs of stroke (F-A-S-T) so that people seek immediate medical attention for themselves or others. Much of this is relayed by social media, patient information pamphlets and discussions with primary care providers. Stroke Awareness Month can also serve as a valuable reminder to healthcare providers that the stroke guidelines have changed.

It isn’t enough to know the sobering statistics:

  • Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.
  • Nearly 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes.
  • Stroke kills nearly 130,000 people a year. That’s one in every 20 deaths.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and the leading preventablecause of disability.

Hospitals must train staff to adhere to the latest scientific treatment guidelines for stroke. The Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) program from the American Heart Association is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care. The website has multiple fact sheets and forms to help hospitals with training.

“When medical professionals apply the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines, patient outcomes improve.” American Heart Association

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) also help educate patients and providers. Resources such as NIH Stroke Scale and NIH Stroke Scale Training DVD are available to order.

How teleNeurology Can Help

Unfortunately, too many patients still suffer delayed stroke treatment. The problem is one of simple supply-and-demand: the national shortage of specialty physicians makes it hard for hospitals to provide round-the-clock access to qualified neurologists.

Telemedicine can help by making specialty physicians available quickly to patients anywhere, at any time. One physician in Boston can help a patient in Texas, then immediately take a case from Boca Raton. Geography doesn’t have to be a limiting factor any more.

By accelerating and streamlining the diagnostic process for stroke patients, telemedicine providers like SOC Telemed help increase access to the most appropriate brain-saving procedures and give hospitals a competitive edge by strengthening their outcomes and clinical reputation for stroke care. For more information, read our whitepaper, Telemedicine Can Help Providers Navigate Increasingly Complex Stroke Decisions.

Every day, stroke takes a serious toll on patients throughout the country. SOC providers are fighting back using technology to offer their expertise wherever it is needed. On behalf of patients everywhere, we thank them.