Stroke Telemedicine


Supported by Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California neurologists and neurocritical care specialists, the Dignity Health Telemedicine Network brings together highly specialized physicians and state-of-the-art technology to offer patients immediate access to advanced medical care.

Patients who live far from urban centers often need the attention of a specialist familiar with the latest advancements and medical capabilities beyond what is available close by. With the Dignity Health Telemedicine Network, access to a specialist's assessment and prescribed plan of action requires just the flick of a switch.

Specifically as it relates to stroke diagnosis and treatment, the Dignity Health Telemedicine Network allows remote partner facilities to leverage the expertise, experience and technology that have helped Dignity Health’s Mercy San Juan Medical Center be recognized by The Joint Commission as the only Comprehensive Stroke Center north of the Bay Area.

Stroke Telemedicine: How It Works

Telemedicine is especially helpful to people with stroke as it allows us to provide critical care without losing time transporting the patient to a different hospital. Dignity Health is one of the first hospital systems in the area to offer this innovative wireless technology.

When a stroke patient arrives at one of the partnering community hospitals that have limited access to specialized care, an on-call Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California stroke specialist can examine the patient via a robot linked to the call.

Upon arrival at a partner hospital, we immediately begin the process of assessing and treating the stroke symptoms:

  • The emergency room staff telephones to activate the network and page the remote on-call stroke specialist.
  • Using a mobile laptop and wireless Internet to connect to a life-sized robot, the stroke specialist is virtually at the patient's bedside within minutes.
  • Once connected, the stroke specialist can drive and maneuver the robot around the patient with complete mobility, as if he/she were physically at the remote site.
  • The stroke specialist uses two-way audio and video capability to conduct a neurological assessment with the patient, to zoom in and read data off monitors and devices, and to interact with family members and emergency room staff.
  • The process gives the doctor the information needed to make the most informed decision for immediate management of the patient's condition.

Telemedicine Program: Acknowledgement

Funding for Dignity Health's Sacramento Telemedicine Program was generously donated by the Elliott Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Elliott Homes. The Margaret F. Elliott Fund honors the memory of Margaret Elliott, the matriarch of the Elliott family, who succumbed to complications from strokes.

Lifesaving Telestroke Robot at Work in Sacramento

Watch the PBS special: Telemedicine puts a doctor virtually at your bedside.

For assistance with a physician referral, call 1-888-800-7688. To request additional information from someone at the Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, email us today.