Saratoga Hospital Uses Teleneurology to Enhance Stroke and Inpatient Neurology Care

Feb. 22, 2021

Saratoga Hospital Uses Teleneurology to Enhance Stroke And Inpatient Neurology Care

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., Feb. 22, 2021—Saratoga Hospital has added teleneurology services—including telestroke care—to give patients 24/7 emergency access to neurologists who have extensive experience treating strokes. The hospital also uses teleneurology for inpatient consultations.

“For patients with stroke symptoms, every second counts. This technology is the fastest way to connect patients to a board-certified neurologist who specializes in treating this critical, potentially deadly condition,” said Dr. Robert Donnarumma, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and medical director of the stroke program at Saratoga Hospital. 

A stroke prevents blood flow to the brain, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients. Nearly 2 million brain cells die every minute that blood flow is blocked

At Saratoga Hospital, as soon as a patient with stroke symptoms enters the Emergency Department, the hospital team issues a stroke alert and, using advanced video-conferencing technology, connects with a neurologist. The teleneurology equipment is mounted on a mobile cart, allowing the remote neurologist to participate in all aspects of the neurological exam—from the CT scan to the physical exam and patient interview—before recommending a course of treatment.

Most patients can be treated at Saratoga Hospital with clot-busting medication. Those who need more advanced care are promptly transferred to Albany Medical Center, Saratoga Hospital’s affiliate in the Albany Med Health System.

Patients who require observation and follow-up care—but not emergency interventions—are admitted to Saratoga Hospital. Depending on their condition, their care may include additional teleneurology consultations. Once patients are discharged, neurology care is provided by members of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Neurology.

“Many of our patients prefer to be hospitalized close to home, and teleneurology helps make that possible,” said Jeffrey Winacott, administrative director, cardiovascular service line. “It is an excellent solution for hospitals of our size, which typically don’t have 24/7 emergency neurology coverage.”

The hospital had been training teams to facilitate teleneurology services before the pandemic and launched the program in the second half of 2020. By then, telehealth had emerged as a viable alternative to many in-person services, as patients and providers became more comfortable with remote care.

To date, Saratoga Hospital has used the teleneurology service for more than 750 stroke and inpatient consultations. “Without this technology, many of our patients would have had to travel for care that they’d much rather receive in the comfort of their own community,” Winacott said.


About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. The hospital’s multispecialty practice, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, provides care at more than 20 locations, ensuring easy access to programs and services that can have the greatest impact on individual and community health. Saratoga Hospital has maintained Magnet designation for nursing excellence since 2004. The hospital is an affiliate of the Albany Med Health System, which also includes Albany Med, Columbia Memorial Health and Glens Falls Hospital. The region’s largest locally governed health system, it has 1,520 beds, more than 800 physicians and 125 outpatient locations. For more information: or

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Peter Hopper
Director, Marketing and Communications

22 Feb 2021