A telestroke network doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly expensive and can be carried out on a shoestring budget, says Livesay.
“We’ve accomplished what we’ve done with a laptop, a webcam, and a connection with Web services,” Livesay says. “Eventually, a telestroke program produces its own downstream revenue” because it generates patients in need who can be served in other service lines, Livesay says.
Partnerships and collaborations for telestroke or other telehealth programs are essential, Livesay says.
“The key to being successful is not necessarily the technology but the relationships you form and the structure you set up with the program,” she says. “You really need to take a step back in planning the program—develop a process and repeat it over and over again.”
Pitt notes that telestroke and other telehealth programs “enable dialogue outside the walls of traditional institutions.” Telemedicine offers the opportunity to “follow that patient as they pass through their lives,” he says.