Because the Lompoc Valley does not have a neurologist available around the clock, patients displaying signs of a stroke are often transferred out of town to larger hospitals with more advanced treatment capabilities, delaying potential life-saving care and forcing a patient’s support network to travel to be near the patient.
After several months of detailed planning and training, Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) was able to collaborate with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital to provide 24/7 access for consultations with neurology specialists via a 5-foot-tall computerized mobile robot. LVMC is now an “Acute Stroke Ready Hospital,” a designation bestowed by Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Medical Services. With the new designation, when a potential stroke patient arrives at the Emergency Department (ED), the attending physician and medical staff order lab tests and a CT scan to determine the best course of treatment. Once a Code Stroke is initiated, the robot disengages from an electrical docking station near the ED and glides to the treatment room to allow an interface between the patient and the neurologist.
LVMC was able to meet its goal of < 60 minutes for door-to-needle time for TPA. Not only has this new system allowed for more timely administration of thrombolytics, but in most cases, patients are able to remain at the hospital and in their own community for recovery.
ABOUT LOMPOC VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER
Lompoc Valley Medical Center was the first operating healthcare district hospital established in California and was created in 1946 by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. The District now includes a state-of-the-art, 60-bed general acute care hospital and a 110-bed skilled nursing facility.