More mobility in action...great stories on those capitalizing on mobility...as we all know in today's mobile world, things do not always begin and end with a desktop PC...mobile technology and those who embrace the technology may save your life someday. BD
By mid-August, the family members of at least 20 local patients with congestive heart failure will be able to check their loved ones’ latest vital signs through a secure hospital Web site.
Mercy Hospital is starting Scranton’s first telemedicine system, which lets doctors provide clinical care from afar to homebound patients.
Each machine connects to a patient’s home telephone and periodically uses an automated voice to remind them to use it to test blood pressure, weight and several other health indicators.
The data is transmitted to a computer Web site constantly monitored by Mercy nurses at a hospital terminal. Patients’ doctors and family members can access the Web site.
Use of the equipment is free, but for now it will go only to a select few of Mercy’s most needy Medicare patients with heart conditions. Mercy staff will rotate the devices, allowing an estimated 300 people to use them within the next 10 months.
But telemedicine equipment can be expensive. A $25,000 grant from Mercy’s Cincinnati-based parent company, Catholic Healthcare Partners, will supply equipment for just the new program’s first year. The hospital plans to apply for more grants to continue acquiring equipment.
Related story below: Hospital and School benefit
When classes resume this fall, some Akron students will be able to be examined by a doctor without leaving their school.
Computers and videoconferencing equipment at the temporary school provide a connection to doctors at the hospital's Locust Pediatric Care Group. ``This way, they can actually be seen by the physician on the spot,'' said Karen Mascolo, director of school health services for Children's Hospital. ``Then the doctor can make a determination about whether they can stay in school or they need to be sent home.''
With parents' permission, the nurses at the temporary school can use special equipment to send information to a doctor when children get sick.
The doctors at Locust Pediatrics will send reports from the telemedicine visits to the children's primary doctors, Mascolo said. ``There's communication between our docs and their docs,'' she said. The enhanced telemedicine service is being provided free to the schools, thanks in part to $43,000 worth of grants the hospital received from several area foundations