Dr. Jeff Hudson-Covolo, Vice President Patient Care Services & Chief Nurse Executive, Sierra View Medical Center
Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) adopted two types of telemedicine technology that serve very different purposes, but both efficient for delivering and accessing quality health care services and outcomes for the community of California’s southern Central Valley. The most impactful and recent innovative telemedicine technology at SVMC includes a solution to keep some of the most compromised patients safe during the pandemic and the other was implemented to facilitate a response time for stroke alert patients.
About Sierra ViewMedical Center
Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) is an integrated healthcare system located in Porterville, California, and is the health care service of the Sierra View Local Health Care District. SVMC’s patient population consists of the residents of Porterville and surrounding rural communities. SVMC is a 132 acute care and 35 Sub-Acute/SNF bed main facility in addition to primary and specialty outpatient clinics including the Roger S. Good Cancer Treatment Center (CTC). In addition to outpatient clinics, SVMC has programs such as the Primary Stroke Center’s stroke program, thathas earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval®.
The Telemedicine Solution for Cancer Patients in a Rural Area
SVMC’s Roger S. Good Cancer Treatment Center has partnered with a team at Doxy.me to implement a user friendly and cost-effective telecommunications technology solution that provides real-time health care for cancer patients. Just as other facilities did during the pandemic, telehealth software was implemented to expand access to care, reducing disease exposure for staff and patients, in addition to preserving scarce supplies of personal protective equipment.
Why Doxy.me? Sierra View Medical Center IT experts found after researching other industry leading software, Doxy.me provided ease of use for the center’s specific patient population, had the best software with low overhead and provided a support team that streamlined the entire process of implementation and is responsive in troubleshooting.
Porterville, which is located in a small city surrounded by rural communities, played an important factor for choosing software that is hassle free, cloud based, and that wouldn’t add a burden to patients needing to download an application or to stream data.
TeleSpecialists provide TeleNeurology services to stroke patients at SVMC
SVMC has partnered with a service called TeleSpecialists to provide TeleNeurology services to stroke alert patients. By bringing a Neurologist to the bedside within minutes using the latest technology, through an interactive video conferencing platform, SVMC is providing the best practice possible to the organization for stroke patients whose diagnosis and care is time sensitive.
When a stroke alert patient is admitted, SVMC teams activate TeleSpecialists through a click of a button. This brings the Neurologist on camera within minutes. This physician then directs care of the potential stroke patient, whether in the Emergency Department or elsewhere in the hospital. The direction of care is driven by the goal of bringing the most appropriate treatment to the patient in an expedited manner.
"SVMC’s providers work closely with the Neurologists and maintain open communication making for a smooth process during a stroke alert."
Having the ability to bring an expert to the bedside quickly, assures to minimize brain injury and begin the process to maximize recovery. For staff, it’s an easy process to activate the service, and it contributes to a standardized process because it is done in the same way for every stroke alert patient, therefore increasing the efficiency of stroke care given at SVMC.
An additional benefit is that doctors are able to document directly in SVMC’s Electronic Medical Record, and place orders, so there is no paperwork to track, which lessens the load on our busy emergency physicians to order stroke treatments. Additionally, when our local Neurologist has days off, TeleSpecialists cover all neurological emergencies. SVMC’s providers work closely with the Neurologists and maintain open communication making for a smooth process during a stroke alert.
TeleSpecialists is a great service, where everyone is there for the patient and collaborates as part of a team who are charged with the desire to help patients recover quickly.
Sierra View provides excellent health care services in a compassionate environment where the goal is to make patients and their families feel comfortable and telemedicine has been proven to help reach these goals more efficiently. There are ever-changing telemedicine solutions out there and SVMC has found two among several that have made a significant impact and met the needs and goals of the organization.