News and Stories from the Texas Medical Community


Video Transforming How Healthcare Organizations Deliver Care

By on February 22, 2012 in Health News Texas with 0 Comments

Hospitals are turning to telemedicine to eliminate the problem of distance between experts and patients. Polycom RealPresence video and voice collaboration solutions are transforming the way healthcare organizations learn, teach, and deliver care.

Healthcare organizations are under pressure to reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve patient care with available resources — even as the Baby Boomer generation moves toward retirement and places increasing demands for care on the industry.

A rural doctor uses telemedicine to consult with specialists at a metropolitan medical center concerning a young female patients ear complications. Photo: Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

One of the main challenges in healthcare is the distance that separates experts from the people who need them. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60 percent of the world’s population live in rural areas while 75 percent of consultants and medical professionals live in urban centers.

Patients in remote and rural areas have less access to medical expertise simply because of where they live. Distance is also a stress on the system due to costly transfers to medical centers for treatment. Depending on the distance involved, emergency helicopter transports can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 per trip.

Polycom RealPresence video brings healthcare providers and remote, home-care, and quarantined patients together face-to-face for consultation, evaluation, and monitoring.

Specialists can now conduct remote consultations and prescribe treatments from their home office, or even from on the road, while “visiting” patients via video with HD quality that’s as good as being there in person.

A new hub-and-stroke business model has emerged based on Polycom video, where a central facility is the hub and smaller facilities or individual specialists are the spokes, allowing healthcare providers to provide round-the-clock consultation and remote treatment of patients via high-definition, interactive video.

Seton Healthcare Family in Central Texas uses Polycom video solutions at its Dell Children’s Medical Center to provide access over video to expert pediatric trauma resources in a 46-county region.

As the region’s largest community service organization, Seton contributed more than $282 million to care for the poor and community benefit last year. The Seton philosophy is to provide healthcare that works, healthcare that is safe, and healthcare that leaves no one behind. That can be a tall order, however, in an area as large and geographically dispersed as Central Texas, which is why Seton looked to Polycom for a full-featured, high-quality video telemedicine solution.

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