St. Dominic’s expands Telemedicine

By Margaret Mays
Patients at several hospitals throughout the state of Mississippi will now benefit from remote consultations with pulmonary physicians at St. Dominic Hospital.

St. Dominic’s expanded partnership with REACH Health, Inc. connects lung specialists with acute care pulmonary patients – such as those suffering from collapsed lungs, severe asthma attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary embolisms.

“Our multiservice telemedicine platform will give our rural hospital partners direct access to a pulmonary specialist,” said Cris Bourn, PT, DPT, MHS, St. Dominic’s Neuroscience/Orthopaedic Service Line Administrator. “This means that pulmonary patients will be able to receive excellent specialty care at their local community hospital, near their families and loved ones.”

Intubation and mechanical ventilation are commonplace in hospital intensive care units (ICUs). Because ventilators carry the risk of serious lung damage and delayed negative effects, consultation with a pulmonologist is especially valuable. Of particular relevance for pulmonary patients is ventilator management – determining the proper airflow, pressure and volume for each patient to ensure the optimal respiratory rate.

The REACH Access Platform allows emergency department clinicians and consulting physicians to conduct joint examinations and share critical medical data and images. REACH Health was a pioneer in telestroke and now provides one enterprise telemedicine solution for multiple specialties.

“Forward-looking partners like St. Dominic’s can use REACH Access to provide the best possible care and make critical time-sensitive decisions for emergency department and ICU patients,” said Steve McGraw, President and CEO of REACH Health.

St. Dominic’s launched its telemedicine program last year with REACH Health, a leading supplier of enterprise telemedicine software. Initially, the program focused on treating stroke patients in three affiliated hospitals: Montfort Jones Memorial Hospital in Kosciusko, Bolivar Medical Center in Cleveland and King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven. These affiliated hospitals are able to directly consult with neurologists to help make critical determinations such as the type and severity of the stroke, available treatment options and whether to transport the patient.