SOMC, OhioHealth bring expert stroke care to PortsmouthPosted on March 7, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center is now utilizing technology that ensures stroke patients in Portsmouth are never far from neurologists who specialize in stroke care. SOMC is just the 10th site-hospital in Ohio to utilize the program, which is available through a partnership with OhioHealth.

“By using a two-way video and audio system, our nurses are able to work side-by-side with neurologists from the OhioHealth Stroke Network,” SOMC’s Administrative Director of Nursing Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs said. “Through this collaboration, we’re able to offer patients in Portsmouth more efficient treatments and increase their chances of a better outcome.”

For stroke patients, a few hours can be the difference between a full recovery and permanent neurological damage. Time is of the essence, and SOMC will be able to limit the amount of time it takes to accurately diagnose strokes thanks to their access to the OhioHealth Stroke Network.

In addition to helping diagnose patients with more speed and precision, SOMC will also use the OhioHealth Stroke Network to develop a treatment plan.

“This technology serves as an extra set of eyes and ears in real-time communication,” Dr. Jason Cheatham, Medical Director for Emergency Services, said. “It provides us with valuable patient evaluation and support.”

Janice Love was one of the first patients to experience the benefits of SOMC’s collaboration with the OhioHealth Stroke Network. It’s a collaboration that she says helped put her at ease during a recent hospital visit.

“My physician at SOMC was able to work with another doctor through the OhioHealth Stroke Network,” Love said. “They were both able to see me, talk to me and make sure I was doing alright. It was absolutely amazing.

“I just congratulate SOMC for bringing this technology to Portsmouth,” Love added. “It saved me because, through it, they were able to avert a stroke.”

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