Virtual Technology Brings Healthcare Closer
Doctors are able to see patients much more efficiently at different hospitals in the Cone Health network. Now, it only takes about two seconds for doctors to begin a sophisticated evaluation of patients at distant locations, thanks to two-way video equipment and high-tech medical monitors.
This equipment is part of an overarching strategy to use virtual technology to provide the best assessment, care and treatment for patients across the Cone Health network. After launching this technology about four years ago, Cone Health now provides this additional level of monitoring for more than 110 patient beds across the network.
The eLink Critical Care program is a perfect solution at Annie Penn Hospital. Physicians use virtual technology to bring specialized care to patients in intensive care or those needing behavioral health services.
“Patients in the intensive care unit sometimes require specialized care that may not be immediately available on the campus where they are admitted,” says Mona Easter, RN, Director, ICU, Annie Penn Hospital. “eLink allows multiple healthcare professionals in different locations to assess a patient and develop the best treatment plan.”
With the touch of a button, physicians across the network can collaborate and monitor patients. The technology is so advanced that even the slightest change in a patient’s condition is easily detected.
“The high definition video equipment even allows doctors to get a good read on a patient’s pupil dilation,” Easter says.
“Because the virtual monitors are so sensitive, care professionals on other campuses detect changes in the patient’s condition at the same time as those providers on location.”
Through a two-way video assessment, professionals from Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital can determine whether a patient at Annie Penn Hospital should be treated. If so, the patient can be transferred to the Behavioral Health Hospital for specialized care. The program has also been ranked high in quality. The eLink Critical Care Department at Cone Health ranked No. 2 nationwide in overall program performance for the first quarter of 2012.