WCTN Telemedicine Network Monthly Newsletter
July 2014 Newsletter
Wesley Medical Center
In This Issue
Featured Telemedicine Network Partner: Hamilton County Hospital
Telemedicine Patient Care Continuum

 

Featured Telemedicine Network Partner
Hamilton County Hospital

 

www.HamiltonCountyHospital.net 

 

The WesleyCare Telemedicine Network is proud to partner with Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, Kansas. The 25-bed critical access facility, located in the Southwestern portion of the state, has a long history of providing care to the local community. As the only hospital in Hamilton County, and much of the surrounding region, HCH provides much-needed care and medical resources to the people in this mainly agricultural region.

Hamilton County Hospital is a shining example of how Telemedicine is helping to address the doctor shortage in rural America. The hospital was featured in the three-part news story, "Doctor Dilemma: A new hope," on CBS's Eyewitness News 12.

 

According to reporter, Lauren Seabrook, "Medical experts have done extensive research on the doctor shortage in rural America, and believe the problem won't get any better in the next 50 years."

 

Brian Coffey, CEO of Hamilton County Hospital with the ITH RP-Lite

Hamilton County Hospital's CEO, Bryan Coffey, decided to meet this challenge head on, embracing new technology that can bring physicians and specialists from larger, urban facilities, into instant contact with his local patients. During the interview, Coffey discussed how the WCTN Stroke Telemedicine program demonstrates the importance of Telemedicine to rural communities:

 

"In a neurological situation, time is of the essence," Coffey said. "So this will save a lot of brain damage."

 

In the past, those patients would be stabilized and shipped by ambulance or medical helicopter to a hospital with more resources. The robot keeps them in Syracuse.

 

"It will allow patients to come here - 10 minute, 20 minute drive here - and be seen immediately by a neurologist," Coffey said. "That's unheard of in rural America."

 

Not only does Telemedicine help patients, it also benefits hospitals. Because of its location and difficulty recruiting physicians, Hamilton County Hospital faced serious challenges to the types of services it could offer, which affected the facility's income revenue. The story also reported:

 

Coffey believes Telemedicine will not only save lives, but save hundreds of communities across the state that are desperate for medical care - like his hospital once was.

 

"Through Telemedicine and some providers coming on board, we have set the standard of care that can be a model for all of America and all of the rural hospitals," he said.

 

Coffey said the robot is a bargain. He said just one patient a month - treated at Hamilton County Hospital instead of being shipped out - will pay for the Telemedicine. If a doctor finds that a patient needs further medical attention, they will still be taken to a hospital with more resources.

 

Coffey noted that having access to Telemedicine allows more people to be diagnosed and treated at their home hospital, significantly reducing the number of patients who, previously, would have been transferred to other facilities.

 

Through the foresight of CEO, Bryan Coffey, and the pairing of remote Telemedicine technology with the dedicated on-site staff, Hamilton County Hospital is living out their Vision Statement:

 

Hamilton County Hospital will reinvent the delivery of rural health care through exemplary teamwork of people who care about their patients and community, innovative use of emerging technologies, and mutually respectful partnering with other health care providers.

  

 

  

 

Telemedicine Patient Care Continuum
Patient Arrival, RP-Lite, OneCall Center, Neurologist Consult, Transport

 

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide information about Telemedicine, we would like to share with you an example of a Telemedicine stroke patient's journey from symptom onset to disposition, highlighting the numerous steps and entities involved in the continuum of care. The patient in our story represents a compilation of the possible scenarios that could occur during a stroke event, in which a patient is transferred to Wesley Medical Center.

 

This story will highlight the process, which involves multiple integral components, including:

  • The initial call to OneCall Center
  • Blue Sky Neurology Neurologist consult via the InTouch Health RP-Lite robot
  • Transport
  • Care from the team at Wesley Medical Center

 

We hope that this will help to provide a deeper level of understanding regarding the WCTN Telemedicine Program, and all of the people who make it happen.

 

Thank you to everyone who is a part of this important program. We couldn't do it without you.

 

Melody's Story

 

One warm Saturday afternoon, the Williams family is enjoying a small-town summer picnic when teenage Charlie comes hurrying up to his parents. "I think there's something wrong with Grandma. Remember that health fair we had at school? Well, one of the people was teaching about strokes and this FAST method of telling if someone's having one. Well, Grandma's talking really funny and she can't lift her left arm. I think she needs a doctor - Now!"

 

The family immediately calls 911 and paramedics whisk Grandma Melody away to the local emergency room. The physician on staff places a call to the OneCall Center, where the call technician, upon learning that the facility is a WCTN Telemedicine Network Partner, pages the Neurologist on call at Blue Sky Neurology and connects the telemed neurologist with the ER physician at the Williams' community hospital.

 

The Telemedicine Consult

 

The neurologist decides that it would be best to do a Telemedicine consult and logs in to the WCTN Partner's Telemedicine workstation robot via his laptop to communicate with the ER. The ER nurse had already positioned the robot at the patient's bedside where Grandma Melody and her physician able to interact directly with the neurologist on the robot's large viewing screen as he performs his consultation. High definition video cameras on the unit enable the neurologist to see Melody, even zooming in to check if her pupils are dilated. Precision microphones and speakers allow the ER physician and WCTN Telemedicine neurologist to communicate seamlessly.

 

Through collaboration with the neurologist and the ER physician, it is determined that Melody is eligible for IV t-PA and a drip is started. WCTN's Telemedicine program allows most patients to remain in their local hospital. However, it is decided that due to some additional medical issues, Melody will need transport to Wesley Medical Center, where the neurologist will be waiting to treat her. The OneCall Center is contacted again to arrange the transport.

 

A medical helicopter is quickly dispatched to the scene. A specialized mobile stroke team monitors Melody's condition and t-PA drip throughout the transport, sending updates to Wesley Medical Center. Upon arrival, the neurologist and a stroke response team are ready for Melody.

 

A Happy Ending

 

Thanks to the quick collaboration of local hospital, WCTN Telemedicine neurologist, and Wesley Medical Center - made possible through Telemedicine - Grandma Melody experienced a full recovery and is now back home, prepping her famous deviled egg recipe for the next family picnic. 

 

  

 

 

WesleyCare Telemedicine NetworkMegan Canter

Director of Telemedicine

HCA Continental Division

4900 S Monaco Street, Suite 380

Denver, CO 80237-3487
303-788-2568 (ofc)

303-717-9995 (cell)

Megan.Canter@HCAHealthcare.com

 

 

 

 

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