Riverside Health System has launched one of the first health collaboration programs of its kind in Virginia, which uses teleconferencing to provide life-saving emergency treatment and advanced outpatient care to patients in rural markets.
Peter Glagola, Riverside’s public relations director, said the first phase of the program links emergency physicians in Riverside Tappahannock Hospital with specialists at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News.
By the end of the first quarter of 2012, Glagola said, similar teleconferencing services are planned to link Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester and Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital on the Eastern Shore with Riverside Regional specialists.
To start, the program is aimed at assisting patients who are believed to be suffering from stroke, Glagola said. Later, the teleconferencing will be expanded to include other specialties.
For now, when a potential stroke patient arrives at Riverside Tappahannock, a Riverside neurologist in Newport News will receive a page. Using a computer, the neurologist can immediately dial the teleconferencing unit located at the remote patient’s bedside to examine the patient remotely and make treatment recommendations.