Telemedicine connects hospital with specialists
BUCKHANNON — WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital, in collaboration with United Hospital Center (UHC) in Bridgeport, West Virginia, has started successfully using Infectious Disease Telemedicine.
Telemedicine is the diagnosis and treatment of patients located at other facilities using telecommunication technology such as video calls. This form of treatment not only connects patients at remote facilities with specialists, it also helps local doctors connect with these same specialists.
Recently, Matthan Jackson, D.O., hospitalist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, was able to work with UHCs Jonathan Stanley, D.O., Infection Disease Specialist, using this telemedicine method. Dr. Jackson’s patient, Don Nestor, had an infection that had not cleared up after several rounds of antibiotics. This resulted in Nestor’s admittance to St. Joseph’s Hospital. It was determined a consult was needed with an Infectious Disease specialist, the closest of which was at UHC.
Jackson brought an iPad into the patient’s room and initiated a video chat with Dr. Stanley, who was able to communicate face-to-face with Nestor as well as examine his foot. Stanley was able to observe the infection, assess the situation, and provide treatment options from 30 miles away, all through telecommunication technology.
“I felt it was easy to communicate with Dr. Stanley,” said Nestor. “He had carefully reviewed my file via Epic and clearly offered his analysis and recommendations for care. The video and voice were very clear and Dr. Jackson and my wife were able to hear and be part of the conversation.”
“I truly think that utilizing this technology will help to provide medicine to patients in rural areas and even at home, helping to expedite more aggressive or directed therapies for complex medical cases,” said Stanley.
Epic is the electronic health record that is used by all WVU Medicine hospitals. It allows medical providers to easily access patient charts, diagnostic testing, and other physician notes no matter where they go in the system. In addition, patients can access their records, communicate with their providers and see test results and upcoming appointments by setting up a free account in MyWVUChart.