Teleneurology Network to Improve Access to Neurologists for Patients in Rural Areas: A Real-World Experience

Telemed J E Health. 2020 Jan;26(1):110-113. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2018.0290. Epub 2019 Feb 14.


Background: The need for neurologists has been steadily increasing over the past few years. The implementation of teleneurology networks could serve as a potential solution to this need. Methods: A retrospective review of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Teleneurology records for all consults performed between August 2014 and July 2018 was conducted. Collected data included number of consults, baseline characteristics, final diagnosis, and number of providers and hospitals over the study period. Results: A total of 4,542 Teleneurology consults were performed during the study period. The most common diagnosis was cerebrovascular disease, followed by seizure disorders. The number of consults per month increased throughout the study period from three in August 2014 to 257 in July 2018. The number of community hospitals covered has increased from 3 hospitals in August 2014 to 14 hospitals throughout the state of South Carolina in July 2018. Conclusion: Over 4 years, the MUSC teleneurology program has evolved into a robust partnership with 14 partner hospitals, and is now delivering more than 250 expert neurology consultations monthly to patients throughout the state of South Carolina.

Keywords: neurology; telemedicine; teleneurology; underserved areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Health Services Accessibility / trends*
  • Humans
  • Neurologists
  • Neurology / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rural Health Services*
  • South Carolina
  • Telemedicine / trends*