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Woodland Healthcare Expands Technology for ICU Patients

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Robots to Connect Mercy Physicians to Patients in ICU, 24/7.

With the support of the Dignity Health Telemedicine Network, critical care intensivists are now able to be at Woodland Healthcare intensive care bedsides, 24/7, and (virtually) within minutes, with the ability to support time-sensitive decisions.

The Dignity Health Telemedicine Network provides additional support to Woodland Healthcare physicians via high-speed data lines to quickly evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). This collaborative program between the staff and on-site intensivists at Woodland Healthcare and the Dignity Health Telemedicine Network is available when there is a sudden change in a patient’s condition – at any time of the day.

“Each day, ICU patients meet with our care team which includes physical therapy, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, nursing, hospitalists, and on-site intensivists,” said Kim Deese, Chief Nursing Executive at Woodland Healthcare. “When there is a sudden change in a patient’s condition, and an intensivist is needed immediately, the robot is then activated and the team begins to consult and make recommendations for care, with intensivists providing expert input. Woodland Healthcare is providing high-tech, high-touch care every day”

The Dignity Health Mercy Telehealth Network’s service uses InTouch Health wireless remote robots to connect patients to intensivists from control stations located at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, and Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael.  This technology is the only FDA approved telehealth technology available.

The robot, called the RP-VITA™, is five-feet-six-inches tall and has a flat-screen computer monitor “face”, on which patients and family members can see and interact with the physician in real time. A zoom-lens camera and microphone on top of the screen enables the physician to see and hear patients during examinations, read patient charts, see test results and view images.

The RP-VITA was developed in partnership with InTouch Health, a leader in acute care remote presence telemedicine; and iRobot, a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions and the company that created the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

The RP-VITA is controlled by a physician using an iPad, lap top, or desktop computer, enabling quick and easy navigation to anywhere it needs to go even in a busy ICU. The RP-VITA is equipped with an autonomous robotic navigation system that provides the robot with the ability to “see” people and objects and avoid bumping into them, as well as the ability to create a digital map of the care environment. The digital map allows for one touch navigation to patient rooms and marks “no-go zones.”

“This partnership demonstrates the commitment from Woodland Healthcare to our community that we are continuing to enhance and develop our existing services to meet the health care needs of our community,” said hospital president Kevin Vaziri. “Providing quality care, right here and right now, is our priority at Woodland Healthcare.”

The Dignity Health Telemedicine Network benefits patients by connecting them to highly trained specialists who might not be available in their local hospital and allows patients to be treated in their own communities, close to home.

Publish date: 

Friday, February 14, 2014

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Media Contact: 

Lindsay Leszczynski 
External Communications Manager
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