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Polycom® RealPresence® Video Solutions Help Saint Vincent Health System Treat 65 Stroke Victims, Reduce Rehospitalizations, and Hear Heartbeats
Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012
  • Telehealth deployment delivers 100% ROI for prevention and wellness program within 60 days; video collaboration enhancing cardiac, oncology, stroke and bariatric treatments
  • Cutting-edge innovation includes Bluetooth electronic stethoscopes that allow clinicians to listen to lung and heart sounds from hundreds of miles away
PLEASANTON, Calif. - May 22, 2012 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications (UC), today announced that Saint Vincent Health System has built a telehealth network with Polycom® RealPresence® video solutions that makes healthcare more accessible by visually connecting healthcare professionals and patients in virtual environments across 26 facilities in Pennsylvania. The issue of location is eliminated: using video rather than traveling, doctors can see more patients, and patients receive high-quality care with access to the expertise of the best specialists, no matter where they practice.
100% return on investment within two months
Saint Vincent's telehealth services include providing nationally recognized cardiology and oncology services to patients in rural areas; collaborative telestroke care; and virtual, remote-patient rounds conducted by multidisciplinary teams of specialists. Polycom RealPresence video also supports a bariatric wellness program that educates and treats patients suffering from obesity. The program achieved a 100% return on investment within two months by expanding the reach of Saint Vincent's bariatric services.
Connecting rural patients with urban specialists
Saint Vincent's telehealth program began with a regional telemedicine network that used Polycom video to connect understaffed rural hospitals with remote specialists who consult and assist primary care physicians with evaluations and treatment recommendations.
"Rural medicine is such a challenge due to the distances that must be covered and limited resources," said Philip Wolford, coordinator of Saint Vincent's regional telemedicine network. "Our tele-cardiology program is a great example of how Polycom video collaboration helps us overcome that challenge and has literally changed the way we practice medicine. It is patient-centered care in the purest form. By reducing rehospitalizations, our program is driving costs down for patients and other payers."
Assessing a heartbeat from hundreds of miles away
Saint Vincent's innovative telehealth solutions include Bluetooth electronic stethoscopes that allow clinicians to listen to lung and heart sounds from hundreds of miles away.
Saint Vincent is also using Polycom Video Content Management solutions to increase multidisciplinary collaboration as another means to improve patient treatment. "Teams of doctors collaborate remotely on grand rounds, exchanging observations, recommendations, and patient information to improve and accelerate patient care," explained Wolford. These grand rounds are recorded, archived and published for staffers to view later on-demand as part of their continuing medical education.
Saint Vincent also facilitates a weekly tumor board conference using Polycom video. Oncologists with a variety of specialties from remote locations review malignant tumors, using Polycom's high-definition content sharing capabilities. They work together to determine the best course of treatment, giving patients the benefit of having an entire team of experts examining their medical records.
Saint Vincent successfully treated 65 stroke victims in four months
The Saint Vincent telestroke program was implemented in 2011. This program enables Saint Vincent physicians to immediately consult with on-call neurologists at a renowned nonprofit medical center and allows stroke patients' CT scans to be shared across the telehealth network, giving Saint Vincent patients access to some of the best stroke care in the world. Within four months of launching telestroke, Saint Vincent successfully treated 65 stroke patients. That success led to an expansion of the program, which will include six facilities by the end of 2012.
Delivering patient-centered innovation for a fast-changing healthcare industry
Healthcare organizations around the world, like Saint Vincent, are turning to Polycom video collaboration solutions to transform how they learn, teach and deliver care. Polycom solutions eliminate the distances between patients and caregivers, between physicians and educators, and between medical facilities. Eight of the top 10 hospitals and all of the top 12 pharmaceutical companies worldwide are Polycom customers, using Polycom technology to reduce patient evaluation times, treat patients remotely, improve medical education, enhance caregiver productivity and quality of life, streamline hospital operations, reduce costs, and ultimately save lives.