Monday, November 15, 2010
UHS Senior Living at Ideal uses telemedicine to enhance patient care
UHS Senior Living at Ideal in Endicott, NY, recently launched a program that uses telemedicine to provide greater communication among medical
practitioners. This web-based service enables nurses at the long-term care facility to collaborate with wound care specialists offsite, gaining valuable recommendations on how to improve care for patients with difficult-to-heal wounds.
Patients whose cases will be forwarded for treatment
recommendations are identified at weekly meetings. A digital photo is taken of the resident’s wound and uploaded into the system along with the patient’s history, diagnosis and current treatment plan. An e-mail is automatically generated and goes to a wound care nurse at UHS Wilson Medical Center or UHS Binghamton General Hospital. The nurse
reviews the data and provides recommendations for further treatment within 24 hours of the request. If additional expertise is required, the information can
be sent to a physician for review. Also, the patient’s primary care doctor can be copied on the entire exchange so he or she remains apprised of the patient’s condition and treatment.
According to Phyllis Watson, director of nursing at UHS Senior Living at Ideal, “The telemedicine program gives us greater access to nurses and physicians with wound care expertise who provide us with timely recommendations for improving treatment.”
Making this all possible is ClickCare, a web-based, HIPAA compliant software service for medical
collaboration that combines pictures, text, sounds and video (most file formats are supported). Developed in 1995 by pediatrician Cheryl Kerr, MD, of UHS
Pediatrics Binghamton, and reconstructive surgeon Lawrence Kerr, MD, of UHS Plast Surgery, ClickCare is easy to master and operate, and requires a computer
with broadband Internet connection and a digital camera with a resolution of at least 3 megapixels.
Maria Motsavage, president and CEO of UHS Senior
Living at Ideal, says, “We could not have launched this program if we were not part of the UHS network. Our medical and nursing staffs have been very
supportive of this initiative.” Motsavage adds that she sees “lots of possibilities to expand the program into areas beyond wound care.”
UHS Senior Living at Ideal has been providing skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living, adult care and home care services to the residents of Greater Binghamton since 1990.