Objective is to describe two years experience from The Finnish Telestroke piloting between Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH), Department of Neurology, The Hub, and five hospitals, the spokes. The participating hospitals are from Rovaniemi (Lapland), Kemi (North-West of Finland), Lappeenranta, Kuusankoski and Kotka from South-East of Finland. All the participating hospitals have a stroke unit and the thrombolysis treatment and the follow up of the patients are carried in the treating hospital. The aim of the pilot is to provide these hospitals expertise in thrombolysis treatment during off-hours through teleconsultations.
The teleconsultations were begun between the participating hospitals 05/2007 after about 1 years preparation period. During the preparation period the staff from participating hospitals were trained with simulation training and lectures held by the local staff and the faculty of the Helsinki University hospital.
Telestroke consultation: During two way interactive audio-visual consultation the thrombolysis decision is based on: 1) the consultant going through a check up list of indications and no contraindications to the treatment together with the treating physician and 2) Clinical assessment of NIHSS by the treating physician under guidance of the consultant through the two way video system besides 3) Evaluation of the head CT scan.
The data registered is based on documents made at HUCH and the follow up data provided by the chief neurologist of the other hospitals. 109 teleconsultations have been documented over 2 years period. A unique feature of the Finnish pilot is the high percentage of consultations leading to thrombolysis treatment. Another special feature is that the consultant does the teleconsultation work besides other on call duties.