Purposeful Innovation: Virtual technology in All Its Forms
Virtual technology is taking new forms also, based on a number of infrastructure enhancements that were put into place during 2012:
- Physicians from Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute acquired the technology needed to round on intensive care patients in Charlotte, even while traveling in other parts of the country.
- Patients in Cleveland, Rutherford, Burke and Lincoln Counties were given access to genetic counseling from specialists at Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, eliminating the need to travel long distance for services.
- Behavioral health patients who presented for assistance at any of the seven emergency departments in greater Charlotte had ready access to virtual psychiatric consultations. These services are provided by physicians and psychiatrists at CMC-Randolph. Between 200 and 300 patients per month are now being assisted through these virtual visits, with plans to expand the network to additional hospitals.
- Pediatricians at Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord began consulting on a more regular basis with counterparts at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte. This facilitates rapid, convenient information-sharing among physicians who have different areas of specialization.
- High-risk obstetrics patients outside Charlotte were able to avoid unnecessary travel by consulting with obstetrical specialists at Carolinas Medical Center, using virtual technology.
- Finally, arrangements were made in 2012 that will allow nurses in Lincoln County to provide better follow-up care for heart patients. The nurses can now utilize technology during home visits that allows heart patients to be monitored by cardiologists from Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute.