Tele-neurology at UH Enhances Access for Patients

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Service now available at UH Samaritan and UH Conneaut medical centers, coming soon to UH Geneva

UH Clinical Update | July 2019

Patients who live in some of the more remote reaches of University Hospitals’ service area can now see a UH neurologist virtually, with very little waiting, providing them enhanced access to care close to home.

Tele-neurology services are now available for UH patients at UH Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland, as well as at UH Conneaut Medical Center.  In addition, tele-neurology services are being added at UH Geneva Medical Center in August.

One difference between an in-person clinical visit and a telemedicine visit is that a nurse is present in the room during the entire clinical encounter, to do the hands-on examination activities the remote provider can’t do.

Neurology office visits are well-suited to telemedicine, says UH neurologist Tanvir Syed, MD, MPH, who is providing this new service.

”In neurology, 90 to 95 percent of the physical examination can be done without ever touching the patient,” he says. “The parts that require that a patient be physically touched, the nurse in the exam room is trained in it. I have a comfort level with the nurses based on my own training with them. Prior to starting, the nurses visited my clinic, and I visited their clinic at their site as well.”

According to Dr. Syed, tele-neurology services offer significant benefits for patients.

“Access, access, access – that’s the key right there,” he says. “Patients don’t need to try to navigate through the hundreds of neurologists in the Cleveland area. They have access right there where they live, and quickly. The fact that I’m a general neurologist also helps tremendously. I’m on the front lines – I can see just about anything. Patients can receive my care, and I can refer them to a subspecialist within the UH system, if necessary.”

Although tele-neurology at UH is relatively new, patients are already enthusiastic about it.

“The patient satisfaction scores are off the charts – five out of five usually,” Dr. Syed says. “They are very, very satisfied. This is the wave of the future – it’s what’s going to happen more and more.  You need the doctor’s brain – you don’t need the doctor physically present. That is going to greatly increase access to care in the future.”

Tele-neurology services are available on Wednesday mornings at UH Samaritan Medical Center and the second and fourth Tuesday afternoons of each month at UH Conneaut Medical Center. UH Geneva Medical Center will soon offer tele-neurology on the first and third Tuesday afternoon of each month. To arrange a tele-neurology visit for a patient at UH Samaritan Medical Center, please call 419-207-2501. For UH Conneaut, please call 1-833-488-9538.

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