Telemedicine has resulted in money-saving efficiencies to hospital operations, improved patient safety, and given more people access to healthcare service among other benefits. In use for a number of years, it’s here to stay as a vital tool in patient care.
At Marin General Hospital, we have been incorporating telemedicine into our patient care operations for some time. For example, we use two way conferencing with off-site neurologists for rapid evaluations of patients with stroke symptoms; an off-site eICU as backup monitoring of our ICU patients; as a teleconference tool between patients and their families here in Marin and specialists in pediatric diabetes at UCSF; and as a way to offer two way teleconferencing translation devices to our non-English speaking patients so they are better able to clearly communicate and receive information about their care.
With the opening in 2020 of our new state-of-the-art hospital, the use of telemedicine at Marin General Hospital is going to take a giant leap forward.
Our first patients will find themselves benefitting from one of the most innovative and practical uses of telemedicine—“virtual presence,” the first use of the communications technology to the in-hospital patient experience.
Each patient room in the new hospital building will be installed with security cameras, large TV screens on the wall facing the bed, and tablet devices at each bedside. Talking to your caregiver team will be as close and easy as pressing a button on your bedside device. As a patient, you can either initiate or accept, when convenient, a routine two-way video call from your nurse, or schedule a video session from the pharmacist making sure you understand how to use your medications.