Mayo Clinic's approach

Stroke telemedicine map at Mayo Clinic

In stroke telemedicine (telestroke) at Mayo Clinic, your doctor and the neurologist trained in blood vessel conditions (vascular neurologist) provide care in your home community and try to avoid the need for transfer to another medical center. This focus on regional care often allows you to receive quality stroke care in your community.

Stroke telemedicine operates on a hub-and-spoke system. A large urban medical center, generally certified as a primary or comprehensive stroke center, usually serves as the primary medical center (the hub). Remote locations, usually smaller regional rural or underserved hospitals, serve as the spokes.

Many regional hospitals don't have neurologists on call to recommend the most appropriate care. In stroke telemedicine, a vascular neurologist at the hub consults with doctors and people who've had acute strokes at the remote sites (spokes).

In telestroke, many people work together as a team, including a program manager, a clinical coordinator, vascular neurologists, neurosurgeons and radiologists at the hub site, and emergency medicine doctors and other staff at the spoke site. Radiology technicians, informational technology staff, researchers, nurses, nurse practitioners and other staff also are important members of the stroke telemedicine team.

Stroke telemedicine consultation

In a stroke telemedicine consultation, an emergency medicine doctor at your regional hospital (the spoke) will examine you. If your doctor suspects an acute stroke, he or she will activate the stroke telemedicine hotline at the hub hospital, which has a dedicated hotline and group paging system and vascular neurologists on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The hub's on-call vascular neurologist usually responds within five minutes.

After you have a CT scan at the spoke hospital, the vascular neurologist at the hub performs a live, real-time audiovisual consultation. The vascular neurologist may discuss your medical history and review your test results.

The vascular neurologist evaluates you, works with your doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment and sends the treatment recommendation electronically to the spoke hospital.

Having a prompt evaluation increases the possibility that clot-dissolving therapies (thrombolytics) can be delivered in time to reduce stroke-related disability. To be effective, clot-dissolving therapies must be given within three hours after you experience stroke symptoms.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Expertise and rankings

  • Stroke telemedicine is a field requiring specialized, coordinated care. Mayo Clinic neurologists trained in blood vessel conditions (vascular neurologists), brain surgery (neurosurgeons), brain imaging (neuroradiologists) and those in stroke telemedicine centers work as a team with emergency medicine doctors and staff at remote sites, treating hundreds of stroke patients every year.

    Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota, and at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, are certified as primary stroke centers by The Joint Commission, a national organization that evaluates and accredits health care providers.

  • Our mission to find and share medical expertise means close contact with people working to discover better methods of caring for people who have had a stroke. Past research led to today's state-of-the-art stroke telemedicine network to help diagnose and treat strokes. Our commitment to expand knowledge for all stroke patients drives current research.
  • By growing our network, we hope to help as many people as possible. Doctors at Mayo Clinic in Arizona began participating in stroke telemedicine as a trial in 2007. Since then, telestroke doctors at Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota assess and treat over 3,000 patients annually at nearly 50 remote hospital sites across 11 states.
  • Care at Mayo Clinic revolves around you. Mayo Clinic stroke telemedicine staff gives you individualized care and serves you in your community.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Oct. 20, 2015
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  2. Zhai Y, et al. Efficacy of telemedicine for thrombolytic therapy in acute ischemic stroke: A meta-analysis. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 2015;21:123.
  3. Quality check. The Joint Commission. Accessed Aug. 9, 2015.
  4. Riggin EA. Enterprise Performance Management system. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 10, 2015.
  5. Huddleston P, et al. Stroke care using a hub and spoke model with telemedicine. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America. 2014;26:469.
  6. Stroke: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed Aug. 10, 2015.
  7. Demaerschalk BM, et al. Stroke telemedicine. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2009;84:53.
  8. Demaerschalk BM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 20, 2015.
  9. Barrett KM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Aug. 31, 2015.
  10. Brown RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 31, 2015.

Stroke telemedicine (telestroke)