Background: With increasing demand for neurologists, nontraditional health care delivery mechanisms have been developed to leverage this limited resource. Introduction: Telemedicine has emerged as an effective digital solution. Over the past three decades, telemedicine use has steadily grown; however, neurologists often learn on the job, rather than as part of their medical training. The current literature regarding telestroke training during neurology training is sparse, focusing on cerebrovascular fellowship curricula. We sought to enhance telestroke training in our neurology residency by incorporating real-life application. Materials and Methods: We implemented a formal educational model for neurology residents to use telemedicine for remote acquisition of the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) for patients with suspected acute ischemic stroke (AIS) before arrival at our comprehensive stroke center. This three-phase educational model involved multidisciplinary classroom didactics, simulation exercises, and real-world experience. Training and feedback were provided by neurologists experienced in telemedicine. Results: All residents completed formal training in telemedicine prehospital NIHSS acquisition and had the opportunity to participate in additional simulation exercises. Currently, residents are gaining additional experience by performing prehospital NIHSS acquisition for patients in whom AIS is suspected. Our preliminary data indicate that resident video encounters average 10.6 min in duration, thus saving time once patients arrive at our hospital. Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first report of a telestroke-integrated neurology residency program in a comprehensive stroke center resulting in shortened time to treatment in patients with suspected AIS. Conclusions: We present a model that can be adopted by other neurology residency programs as it provides real-world telemedicine training critical to future neurologists.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management