Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Eric Barth


In the United States strokes are the leading cause of long term disability and result in death to more than 130,000 Americans annually. Each year alone, 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke with 87% of these strokes being ischemic and only 3-5% of these ischemic strokes receive thrombolytic treatment. Currently, the initial management of acute stroke care that results in better outcome for the patient include three main characteristics: urgent recognition and evaluation by a specialized neurologist, availability of thrombolytic treatment (such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)) in a timely matter and admission to a stroke center for further evaluation in treatment. Rural community hospitals often lack the resources available to provide one or more of these characteristics. The use of telestroke systems has been proven in many studies to increase the use of trained neurologist evaluation, more accurate diagnosis of stroke and increased use of thrombolytic therapy such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) leading to improved outcomes, all without increasing the risk of complications. The use of a telestroke network should be established and routinely used in rural community hospitals that lack local access to a stroke center in order to provide patients with the best level of care when presenting with ischemic stroke.