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TMCNet:  Decatur General Hospital & Specialists On Call Partner to Deliver High Tech Care to Stroke Patients

[December 07, 2011]

Decatur General Hospital & Specialists On Call Partner to Deliver High Tech Care to Stroke Patients

DECATUR, Ala. --(Business Wire)--

Specialists On Call, Inc. (SOC), the nation's leading provider of clinical telemedicine, announced today that it is now providing emergency on-call services to Decatur General Hospital in northern Alabama. This collaboration is SOC's first hospital in the state of Alabama. It provides Decatur General's patients immediate access to board certified neurologists via telemedicine. Telemedicine is a technologically advanced process that brings highly-trained specialists to the patient's bedside allowing a neurologist to perform a physical examination of the patient via the internet. The findings of the neurologist are discussed with the treating physician at Decatur General and the two agree upon the best treatment plan for the patient. The process allows a patient to be provided a specialist consult without undergoing transport when it is most risky for the patient. The newly installed wireless network at Decatur General allows this telemedicine service to be conducted at any location inside the hospital.

Decatur General is a not-for-profit community-based 273-bed hospital serving Morgan County and surrounding areas. It is currently one of only three hospitals certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center in Alabama. Dr. Eston Norwood, a neurologist who has been in Decatur for 25 years, is the Medical Director of the Decatur General Stroke Center.

Dean Griffin, Decatur General's President and CEO, remarked, "Decatur General has delivered the highest quality health care to our community for nearly 100 years. Our commitment to quality has never wavered and our partnership with Specialists On Call continues that pledge to our patients. Teleneurology fortifies our alrady strong position as a Primary Stroke Center and provides stroke patients with immediate access to world-class neurologists."

Each year, about 795,000 people experience a new or recurring stroke, which is the nation's fourth leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 4 minutes. "With a stroke, time lost is brain lost," said Dr. Norwood. "Decatur General's rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke is critical because the effects of a stroke and chances of permanent disability can be reduced if proper treatment is received within three hours of the onset of symptoms. The most common reason patients do not receive treatment is that they often wait to get the help they need. Fast action and proper treatment can improve a stroke patient's quality of life."

Specialists On Call currently provides teleneurology services to hospitals in thirteen states and has conducted more than 30,000 consultations via telemedicine since the company's inception. Their reliability and performance has earned them both a leadership position within the telemedicine industry as well as the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval.

Signs of a Stroke:

  • Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side)
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

About Decatur General Hospital

Decatur General is a community-based 273-bed hospital that has been serving Decatur and surrounding areas since 1915. The hospital scores at or above state and national averages of 96% of the quality measures reported by CMS and Decatur General's patient satisfaction scores, as reported through Press Ganey, place the hospital among the top ranking facilities in the nation for providing compassionate care.

For more information please visit www.decaturgeneral.org.

About Specialists On Call

Specialists On Call, Inc. (SOC), is a Joint Commission-accredited organization that is changing emergency medicine. As the leading provider of emergency telemedicine consultations, SOC gives hospitals vital 24/7/365 access to more than 45 board certified, fellowship trained academic specialists, each with a minimum of 10 years experience. With operations on both coasts, SOC provides more than 1,100 emergency consultations per month for hospitals nationwide and hospital systems such as Vanguard Health Systems, HCA, Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

For more information please visit www.specialistsoncall.com.


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