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Preparing for Telemedicine in Hospitals – Cultural Readiness

By: | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | June 19th, 2019

If you are keeping up with health industry news, then you are aware that telemedicine has become commonplace in hospitals, particularly TeleStroke and TeleNeuroHospitalist rounding. As more and more hospital administrators face increased stroke cases and a shortage of neurologists on staff, every medical facility needs responsive solutions in preparing for telemedicine to keep up with its competition and prevent expensive patient transfers and possible financial distress.

Introduction in Preparing for Telemedicine

As the introduction of telemedicine services begin, you may find that cultural readiness is one of the main topics of concern among the facility executives. How your staff views preparing for telemedicine and how the bedside providers embrace telehealth are two crucial conversations to have as your team moves closer to implementing telemedicine into your facility.


If there is hesitation from the executive staff regarding the cultural readiness of the hospital’s medical team and this is what has hindered your facility from delving into the technology world of telemedicine, here’s something to consider: According to the Medical Journal of Critical Care, nearly 75% of nurses believe that telemedicine increases patient survival.  In instances of stroke or other emergent neurology, if a neurologist is not available to see a patient on site, TeleStroke can be utilized to increase the chances of a patient’s full recovery or even save their life.  As Dr. Adam Heller, Partner and VP of Clinical Operations at TeleSpecialists, has said: “A neurologist is a neurologist no matter where you are.” TeleStroke can play a vital part when it comes to timely and effective patient care in a stroke situation. Often, we have come across medical teams with concerns that telemedicine is lacking the “human factor” of medicine. Studies have shown that in cases where physicians know that they must break difficult news to the patient, the physician will usually request a social worker, nurse or hospital chaplain to be in the room to offer support to the patient. Having the physician on screen keeps the conversation clear and concise, and having moral support in the patient’s room hopefully makes the news less difficult for the patient. Ensuring the hospital staff is psychologically prepared is essential; however, you may find that it’s not as big of a concern as you may think. The use of telemedicine and TeleStroke opens the possibility for many new services so it will bring about change within the hospital organization and staff. However, according to a study done by the publication TeleMedicine and e~Health, cultural readiness was not an issue when implementing telemedicine into hospitals, it was the lack of preparedness during the implementation process such as billing, technology, and the go-live phase.

Transitioning from Face-to-Face Care

Once everyone is on board, the question remains: How does a hospital facility successfully make that transition from a traditional face-to-face consultation to telemedicine? Well, according to the experts, you must align your hospital leaders to determine goals. Studies have shown us that proper implementation is critical. Here’s what you can expect from TeleSpecialists to ensure a smooth go-live. Our physician leadership consists of board-certified neurologists highly trained in their field. The implementation team will work with your hospital’s staff to best design an integrated stroke care telemedicine plan. TeleSpecialists will utilize Lean management tools like Value Stream Mapping to identify and remove any inefficiencies and minimize variability in your hospital’s processes. Providing this will result in a lean and efficient environment for your hospital’s telemedicine stroke alerts. To decrease inconsistencies in care, the stroke team will create standardized workflow processes for every single point of time during a stroke alert. Once this is trained, tested and implemented, each team member will see the immediate benefit of knowing their tasks with the overall goal of no waiting and no delays. Think of a NASCAR pitstop where everyone has a task and must do this task quickly and effectively; your team will run like a perfect pitstop. The facility can improve patient care and avoid expensive patient transfers. This new workflow and the resulting improvement of your quality metrics will pave the way to increased hospital revenue. Ultimately the success of your telemedicine services will be rooted in the team effort between the organization staff and the quality of the implementation team. After services go live, a Quality Program Specialists is assigned to monitor metrics and provide recommendations to ensure the highest level of service.

Contact TeleSpecialists

If you would like more information on how TeleSpecialists can assist you with preparing for telemedicine / TeleStroke program in your hospital or to learn more about our organization, please call us at 866.785.7769 or contact us online.

Nattasha Acevedo, MD

Dr. Acevedo received her medical degree from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and did her neurology residency at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She went on to do a clinical neurophysiology fellowship at Emory School of Medicine in Atla nta, Georgia and then joined private practice in Fort Myers, Florida. She currently resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She likes running, paddle boarding and spending time with family.

Bernadette Borte, MD

Dr. Borte received her medical degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in Grand Cayman. She completed her neurology residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Her areas of interest include inpatient neurology and acute stroke. When not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Dr. Borte joined the TeleSpecialist family in March of 2019.

Mazen Almidani, MD

Dr. Almidani is board certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics and board certified in epilepsy, as well as neurology with special  qualification in child neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Dr. Almidani is happily married with 4 children. His oldest son has autism and his daughter has complicated seizures; both were a drive for him to become a neurologist. Dr. Almidani enjoys soccer, running and spending time with his family. He is very involved with his sons’ therapy and helping with daily challenges. He is double board certified in Pediatric and Adult Neurology and Epilepsy. He sees children and adults. He also participates in charities for children in Syria who may be underprivileged and/or affected by the war. Dr. Almidani joined TeleSpecialists in August 2020.

Amanda Cheshire, MD

Dr. Cheshire received her medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. She completed her neurology residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She did a fellowship in neurophysiology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Cheshire is double board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology. She enjoys traveling, reading and music. She currently resides in Viera, Florida.  Dr. Cheshire joined TeleSpecialists in June 2019.

Jessica Floyd, MD

Dr. Floyd completed her neurology residency at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida followed by fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology with focus in EEG and epilepsy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. She has particular interest in hospital neurology and patient education as well as the blossoming specialty of lifestyle medicine. She strives to take advantage of every encounter with patients and medical staff to empower them to do their own research into how daily thoughts, choices, and habits can add up to create greater and longer-lasting brain and neurologic health for ourselves and our loved ones. She lives in Florence, South Carolina with her awesome husband of 13 plus years and three beautiful children. She is an avid yogi, astrologer, and lover of food and all things neurology! Dr. Floyd joined the TeleSpecialist family in July 2017.

Nancy Futrell, MD

Dr. Futrell received her medical degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also did her neurology residency at the University of Utah as well as a research fellowship in cerebral vascular disease at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has authored 2 books and 50 peer reviewed papers. 

Rebecca Jimenez-Sanders, MD

Dr. Jimenez Sanders received her undergraduate degree from Emory University, and her medical degree from the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her neurology residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, where she also did a specialized headache medicine and facial pain fellowship. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband and her two daughters. She is also fluent in Spanish and Italian languages, and enjoys photography, baking, boating, and biking.

Cory Lamar, MD

Dr. Lamar received his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his internship and residency at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Following residency, he completed a clinical fellowship in neurophysiology, with a concentration in epilepsy. He currently resides in Florida and enjoys outdoor activities.

Clifford Meyers, MD

Dr. Meyers received his medical degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He completed his neurology residency at the University of Rochester, where he also did a neurophysiology fellowship. Dr. Meyers resides in Webster, New York with his wife and daughter. When not doing teleneurology, he enjoys playing sports with his wife and daughter.

Tao Tong, MD

Dr. Tong received her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. She completed her neurology residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, where she also did a neuromuscular/EMG fellowship.  She currently resides in College Station, Texas. Dr. Tong is married with two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and reading.

Shubhangi Chumble, MD

Dr. Chumble attended BJ Medical School. She is a board certified neurologist with a subspeciality interest in sleep medicine. Dr. Chumble did her residency at Howard University in Washington DC and has practiced neurology since 2001 in private and corporate settings. She lives in Melbourne, Florida and loves the sunshine state. Her hobbies include yoga, meditation, cooking , traveling and meeting new people. She also loves to do stained glass, pottery and painting. She joined TeleSpecialists in June 2019.