Frequently Asked Questions about the Inova Telestroke Program (h1)
How does the program work?
When a patient arrives at an emergency department exhibiting stroke symptoms, the ED physician connects to the consulting neurologist through Inova Telestroke.
- The ED physician reviews the patient's status and determines the need for a stroke evaluation
- The mobile cart of Telemedicine equipment is moved to the patient's bedside
- The patient, ED physician and remote Telestroke physician begin a real-time consult
- The ED staff consult with the Telestroke physician to determine treatment, admission or transfer
How quickly can I get a consult? (h3)
Our stroke experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How much does it cost to become an Inova Telestroke network hospital? (h3)
Costs vary depending on the needs of each partner facility. Costs may include:
- Telestroke equipment
- Network connectivity. This cost is variable. If a connection is currently available that permits adequate bandwidth, then implementation costs are reduced.
- Program support structure. This is determined based on projected patient volumes or number of consultations and varies by need.
Call Inova Telestroke Program at 703-289-8611 to learn more about becoming a participating hospital or to coordinate a site visit.
What happens if the Telestroke equipment fails?
The program provides 24/7 support. Procedures and protocols are designed and distributed to each site to be followed in the event of technical difficulties. If technical difficulties preclude the use of real time videoconferencing, the Telestroke physician will complete the consultation via telephone.
Am I obligated to send my patient to an Inova hospital?
Using Inova Telestroke Program does not obligate the network hospital to send patients to Inova. If a network hospital wishes to transfer a patient to Inova, transportation and bed placement will be facilitated through the program.
Once the Telestroke system is up and running, are we obligated to use it?
The network hospital physicians and staff may choose to use the system whenever they feel it necessary.
Are there liabilities associated with Telestroke?
The liabilities are the same as if the consult was performed in person.
Is using Telestroke an attempt to "steal" my patients?
Using our service is a means to enable your hospital to gain access to neurologists to triage your stroke patients. Our goal is to partner with network hospital physicians and staff to keep patients local whenever possible.
What if the ED physician does not agree with the Telestroke consultant?
The final decision for the patient's care will always be that of the bedside physician. There is no obligation for the network hospital to follow the recommendations of the consulting physician.
How does the Telestroke system protect patient confidentiality?
Telestroke is HIPAA compliant, and site personnel are responsible for obtaining normal patient care consent and HIPAA documentation. Inova uses a HIPAA-secure VPN to ensure secure transmission of any electronic patient health information.
How does billing for Telestroke work?
Inova Telemedicine Institute bills only the patient, or the patient’s insurance, for the fee of the appropriate telemedicine consult. The network hospital will bill for emergency department care per their normal business operations.
How do I know the consulting physicians on the other end of the camera are qualified?
Inova Telestroke Program utilizes only board-certified neurologists specially trained in stroke services. Four Inova Health System hospitals are designated Primary Stroke Centers.
How do I handle credentialing requirements?
The Joint Commission has established a facilitated credentialing process for telemedicine services, using a reciprocity process. All Inova stroke physicians are credentialed to provide telemedicine services.