Health & Medicine

UK partnership with Georgetown hospital to help stroke patients

GEORGETOWN — Stroke patients in Scott County should receive better and faster care at Georgetown Community Hospital because of a partnership with the University of Kentucky's Comprehensive Stroke Center, medical officials say.

Georgetown emergency staff will have constant access to a UK stroke neurologist who will help assess patients' conditions and determine what drugs should be administered while a patient is at the Georgetown hospital or is being transferred to UK Hospital.

Georgetown Community Hospital chief executive officer Barry Papania said the partnership, announced Friday, will eliminate the time that emergency room doctors spend calling Lexington hospitals to track down a neurologist.

"It was sort of a shotgun approach at who you could find," Papania said after a news conference at Georgetown Community Hospital.

This is the first partnership that the UK stroke center has formed with a community hospital, said Michael Dobbs, a UK neurologist and medical director of the UK-Georgetown Community Hospital Stroke Affiliation.

The program in Georgetown has been in place about two months.

"Community hospitals can benefit from stroke-care partnerships because it makes the resources of a major stroke-care center available for their patients and staff," Dobbs said. "Being treated in a stroke-care unit at a stroke center improves a patient's chance of a good outcome."

The medical staff at Georgetown Community Hospital, and Scott County residents, also will have on-site access to educational programs offered by UK's stroke center.