Abington Hospital Brings Telehealth Technology to the Operating Room
ABINGTON, PA (May 8, 2018) – Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health is now using telehealth technology to virtually connect surgeons in the operating room with remotely located colleagues and patient family members in real time. Abington is the first in the region and one of only a few hospitals in the country to implement live video conferencing in the OR. This instant audio-visual connectivity is playing a key role in the delivery of care to heart surgery patients.
Using a high-definition webcam and video-conferencing software, heart surgeons are using this technology in two ways: to connect with other surgeons across Jefferson Health during surgery and to communicate with patients’ family members soon after an operation is over.
This technology allows the surgeon to engage in critical conversations with other experts during the procedure with far fewer interruptions and without having to rely on sub-optimal audio connections to relay precise information. The video conference platform is used to connect the operating cardiothoracic surgeon to:
- Other surgeons who may have performed prior or similar cases
- Cardiologists with deeper knowledge of patients or their conditions
None of these consulted individuals are required to be onsite in the operating room. In cases where a remote consult is performed immediately, Abington’s surgical teams can potentially reduce a patient’s time on bypass or under anesthesia.
Surgery updates are communicated from the operating room to the patient’s nurse and family members as they wait for their loved ones. This technology cuts the time it takes for the family to hear results from the surgeon by up to an hour. It does not eliminate the face-to-face conversation between the surgeon and the family members, but reduces the wait for the family to be able to hear news more quickly, as the surgical case is wrapping up.
According to Mauricio Garrido, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, “Bringing this technology to the OR is in line with two of Jefferson Health’s core values: putting people first and thinking differently. We take immense pride in the service we provide to families with each patient we care for. This is demonstrated, in a very real way, by ‘opening the blinds’ to the classically inaccessible sanctum of the operating room and reimagining a more respectful experience for those waiting anxiously for their loved ones.”
About Abington – Jefferson Health
Abington – Jefferson Health includes Abington Hospital in Abington and Abington – Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township, six outpatient medical campuses located in suburban Philadelphia (Willow Grove, Warminster, Blue Bell, Lower Gwynedd, Montgomeryville and Elkins Park), and two Urgent Care Centers located in Flourtown and Willow Grove. These convenient facilities, along with 50 community-based physician practices, offer high-quality healthcare services close to home for residents of Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia counties. More than 1,400 physicians are on staff at both hospitals, and together with nurses, other healthcare providers and numerous support staff, are dedicated to reimagining health, education and discovery to create unparalleled value. Abington – Jefferson Health is an integral part of Jefferson Health, an organization whose mission is to improve lives.
Jefferson, through its academic and clinical entities of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, including Abington Health and Aria Health, is reimagining health care for the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey. Jefferson has 23,000 people dedicated to providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educating the health professionals of tomorrow, and discovering new treatments and therapies to define the future of care. With a university and hospital that date back to 1824, today Jefferson is comprised of six colleges, nine hospitals, 35 outpatient and urgent care locations, and a multitude of physician practices throughout the region, serving more than 100,000 inpatients, 373,000 emergency patients and 2.2 million outpatients annually.