An area hospital is bringing in some expert help for patients in its intensive care unit. On Tuesday, for the first time, Penn Highlands DuBois will use tele-ICU. It’s 24/7 monitoring of vital signs and reports by a remote team. If a doctor is needed, he or she will appear via telemedicine.
That’s not the only critical use of telemedicine at Penn Highland DuBois. Telemedicine nurse Angela Rhodes, RN, explained how the service helps patients get quick treatment for stroke.
“As soon as the patient comes in with those stroke-like symptoms, we’re sending them to the CT scanner and we’re calling UPMC right away, to get the provider on camera, to see the patient. Within typically 10 to 15 minutes, that doctor is on the camera seeing the patient,” Rhodes said.
And she added,” It’s a very thorough exam. ID consults can take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour, so these doctors are really spending time with these patients talking to them, doing a full head to toe assessment, going over the plan of care with them, and patients really appreciate it.”
UPMC in Pittsburgh handles telestroke, neurology, and infectious diseases, at Penn Highlands DuBois. A national company called Advanced ICU will be in charge of the tele-ICU.