Futuristic Tele-Med links downstate WMC docs to HAHV in Kingston

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The technology gives HealthAlliance patients personalized care from advanced WMC
specialists without having to travel to visit them.

KINGSTON – Westchester medical specialists are now available to patients at Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley (HAHV) in Ulster County, thanks to a fleet of telemedicine terminals.
The six stations currently link the Intensive Care Unit with Westchester Medical Center (WMC), recently affiliated with HAHV, under WMC Health Network. The equipment cost $16,000 apiece, funds provided by Health Alliance Foundation.
At a demonstration held Tuesday inside the HAHV Broadway ICU, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Llobet re-enacted a patient conference utilizing professional colleagues 90 miles away.
Dr. Corey Scurlock, WMC Health eHealth Center medical director, explained the program.
“Right now, we’re live with the telestroke model. In the upcoming months, we’ll be introducing telepsychiatry, teleICU, and teletrauma,” Scurlock said. “The patients who can receive here locally – that’s always the best care, will stay here – and the patients who need to be triaged to other institutions will be triaged efficiently. Bringing highly specialized services to local customers without the need for travel is a win-win.”
Health Alliance President David Scarpino said there is a “profound need in this community, and up in Margaretville, for psychiatrists, there is a tremendous shortage. You bridge that gap with our partnership with Westchester Medical Center.”
Dr. Llobet noted a patient in Kingston suffering stroke could get consulted by a ranking WMC neurologist within five to 15 minutes, using the system. One study suggests a 20 percent decrease in mortality for teleICU institutions, plus 26 percent fewer overnight stays.

Dr. Llobet face-to-face with a patient at HAHV. Camera, left, can transmit the conversation to WMC.