Northwest Florida Community Hospital has announced a partnership with Gulf Coast Medical Center to provide local stroke victims with more expedient treatment through the use of telemedicine and robots.
“There isn’t any where in the stretch along Interstate 10 from Tallahassee to Pensacola that offers stroke care, which means stroke victims from Jackson, Holmes or Washington Counties have to be taken to Panama City, a 50-minute trip,” says Daniel Dunlap, hospital outreach director with Hospital Corporation of America in Tallahassee.
Their clinical affiliation agreement means that Doctors Memorial Hospital will facilitate patient access to the medical talent at Gulf Coast Medical Center in specialized clinical services, collaborate on the transfer of knowledge between medical teams of both institutions, and improve care through the incorporation of the best available medical practices.
“We are proud to partner with Gulf Coast Medical Center in providing the best quality medical care available to our patients,” said JoAnn Baker, administrator of Doctors Memorial Hospital. “Through this affiliation, we will be better prepared to diagnose stroke and other critical conditions, as well as provide training to our staff and physicians. Our goal is to offer access to specialists and education to the community. At this critical time in healthcare reform, we are always looking to the future, being proactive in our approach to giving the finest medical care possible.”
Andy Long, director of neuroscience and telehealth services with Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City, says the purpose of the program is to not only save money for the hospitals participating, “but to ultimately lower the cost of health care.”
“The goal of the HCA Telemedicine Initiative is to develop a regional network that increases the ability of specialized physicians to consult, triage and diagnosis critically ill neurological patients in under served areas,” Long added, “by leveraging the technology of telemedicine to keep patients close to home when possible.”