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Date Updated: Friday, March 10, 2017

New eHealth Program Connects HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus with Westchester Medical Center Health Network Telemedicine Hub

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KINGSTON, N.Y. (January 31, 2017) -- State-of-the-art telemedicine technology linking HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), with the specialized WMCHealth telehealth operations center is now operational, further fulfilling WMCHealth’s commitment to bring the highest level of care to all patients in New York’s Hudson Valley.

WMCHealth’s secure, high-definition eHealth Program offers HealthAlliance patients personalized care from advanced WMCHealth specialists without having to travel to visit them. The specialists complement -- and do not replace -- the dedicated healthcare teams at HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus in Kingston.

WMCHealth’s eHealth program now in use at the Broadway Campus is stroke telemedicine, also called telestroke. Telestroke is to be followed in the coming weeks by telepsychiatry, teletrauma and teleICU services, or eHealth services at intensive care units. Telepsychiatry will be available at the Broadway Campus, at HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus, a member of WMCHealth, and at Margaretville Hospital in Margaretville, N.Y., a member of WMCHealth. Teletrauma will be used in the Emergency Departments of the Broadway Campus and Margaretville Hospital. TeleICU will be at Broadway and Mary’s Avenue.

The new programs connect all HealthAlliance hospitals with WMCHealth’s 5,500-square-foot eHealth operations center, staffed by a wide array of medical specialists who use 20 multimedia stations to monitor patients in real time. The eHealth operations center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“With WMCHealth’s eHealth program, clinical specialists in the operations center can evaluate patients, share information and discuss patient issues with us in Kingston as if they were here,” said Paul Llobet, MD, Chief Medical Officer, HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley. “The videoconferencing capabilities enable split-second medical decisions that save lives.”

With eHealth’s teleICU program, for instance, doctors and nurses trained in critical-care medicine will use sophisticated equipment at the eHealth operations center to monitor vital signs around the clock and collaborate with HealthAlliance bedside teams.

Vital signs, medications, blood test results, X-rays and other pertinent information from bedside monitors will be sent to the eHealth control center through secure, high-speed data lines. This information will appear on the control center’s monitors exactly as it appears to bedside care teams at the Broadway Campus.

Critical-care specialists watching monitors that continually collect data will support HealthAlliance clinicians in spotting signs of imminent trouble. If a HealthAlliance patient needs attention, physicians at the eHealth center can zoom in via two-way camera -- close enough to read the tiny print on an IV bag or to examine a patient’s pupils. The eHealth team can also consult directly with bedside doctors, nurses, family members and patients.

Incorporating telehealth in ICUs decreases mortality 20 percent and reduces the length of hospital stays 26 percent, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found.

To protect patient privacy, the cameras are off and turned away from patients when HealthAlliance and the eHealth center are not communicating.

Notably, WMCHealth’s eHealth program was recently used by WMCHealth doctors to evaluate conjoined 11-month-old twin girls in the Dominican Republic. The girls later flew with their parents to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of WMCHealth, for a successful 21-hour surgical separation two weeks ago.

“As the Hudson Valley region’s advanced care network, WMCHealth is committed to providing the highest level of care as close to home as possible,” said Michael Israel, President and CEO, Westchester Medical Center Health Network. “Expanding telemedicine to Ulster County and the surrounding areas is another example of our commitment to benefiting patients throughout our home region as we advance care here in the Hudson Valley.”

“Telehealth is a proven advance in medicine that leads to better patient outcomes,” said Corey Scurlock, MD, Medical Director, WMCHealth eHealth Center. “Our eHealth program has been deployed on WMCHealth’s Valhalla campus and at our network affiliate MidHudson Regional Hospital with great success, and we expect the same at HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway and Mary’s Avenue Campuses and at Margaretville Hospital. Telemedicine brings additional, qualified medical professionals into the patient-care process and we are thrilled to offer this service to local residents.”