Adam Kelly, M.D.
Director of Teleneurology
Colleen Tomcik, M.D.
Associate Program Director
Telemedicine and telehealth systems have already shown the potential to transform the way health care is delivered, and the role for this approach is expected to increase moving forward. Neurology is well-suited to the use of video consults and other technologies to provide care for a number of reasons. Research has shown that access to neurologists varies across regions, and bringing the neurologist to the patient and family may be more feasible than having the patient come to the clinic or hospital in some cases. Along those same lines, some neurology patients may have mobility or other logistical issues that impede their ability to be seen regularly in clinic. Finally, a considerable amount of follow-up care for neurologic disorders involves interval history-taking and patient/family counseling, activities which lend themselves well to video encounters and other telehealth modalities. Our own Dr. E. Ray Dorsey, Director of the URMC Center for Health + Technology, is a national leader in teleneurology research and implementation.
Under the direction of Dr. Adam Kelly, Director of Teleneurology at URMC, our department is creating and implementing unique, in-demand teleneurology services in multiple arenas:
- Inpatient general Neurology and telestroke consultations, partnering with our affiliated regional hospitals and several other healthcare systems throughout New York State
- Telestroke consultations utilizing the region’s only Mobile Stroke Unit, which launched in the fall of 2018
- Outpatient clinical and research visits for patients with Parkinson’s disease
- Utilization of televisits for ALS patients participating in clinical trials
Our residency program is committed to providing our trainees with a strong educational foundation in telemedicine, so they can be prepared to deliver care in this format as this technology continues to evolve during their career. As recipient of a Faculty Innovation in Education Award from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 2018, Dr. Colleen Tomcik has developed a multifaceted, longitudinal educational program for Neurology residents. This includes observational outpatient and inpatient teleneurology experiences. All residents complete a web-based didactic curriculum highlighting technical, clinical and medicolegal aspects of teleneurology. They also perform teleneurology visits using both standardized and actual patients, observed and evaluated by clinical faculty. Residents are also able to offer televideo visits to their continuity clinic patients when appropriate, to address access as well as safety especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to continue to expand our resident teleneurology educational curriculum over time, using what we've learned from this pilot program exclusive to URMC.