News Center

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Robot, live streaming bring off-site stroke experts to patients’ bedside

Franciscan St. Francis Health uses TeleStroke as a rapid response resource

INDIANAPOLIS – When a stroke occurs, time is critical in making an accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment plan. And for good reason: Brain cells deteriorate quickly, leaving a patient with permanent brain damage.

Franciscan St. Francis Health now has a new weapon in its arsenal to combat the effects of stroke. It’s InTouch® Telestroke, and it enables the hospital’s neuroscientists to offer immediate and around-the-clock consultations when patients present with stroke conditions.

“TeleStroke extends our hospital’s services to outlying hospitals to serve the unmet needs of surrounding communities,” said David A. Glander, MD, a neurologist who practices at Franciscan St. Francis Health and is a member of JWM Neurology. “It also improves access to specialists and the treatment of stroke patients, all leading to improved outcomes and reducing the incidence of long-term disability.”

TeleStroke is a mobile communications platform that enables a stroke patient and emergency room staff to consult with a neurologist via the robot’s video monitor. It uses live Web video streaming to allow the neurologist to remotely review the patient’s information and examine and talk with the patient, family members and clinicians to determine a treatment plan at the patient’s bedside.

Using a laptop or tablet such as an iPad, the neurologist can adjust the robot’s camera and check a patient’s pupils and listen to their heart and lungs through a stethoscope mounted on the robot.

The neurologist and the on-site team both can access and update the patient’s electronic medical record. After the diagnosis is made, the neurologist makes a recommendation, and the emergency room doctor and team can begin treatment.

In a recent demonstration, Franciscan St. Francis Health recently unveiled its TeleStroke program and connection between its Indianapolis and Mooresville hospitals, the latter of which is an outlying facility in Morgan County.

“This technology enables me and my colleagues to concentrate on our patients without delay,” Dr. Glander said. “We also plan to look at ways we can share our program and TeleStroke capabilities in partnership with hospitals in need of such services.”

Franciscan St. Francis Health’s neurology teams recently received the Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

To view how TeleStroke works, watch this VIDEO.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health unveils expanded unit for high-risk babies

INDIANAPOLIS – A new and larger neonatal intensive care unit has been reborn at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis.

The new unit – the only Level III NICU in south-central Indiana – recently moved to a new location within the hospital, marking the first phase of a $37 million expansion project of the Women & Children’s Center.

“Sometimes, unexpected situations and extra care is necessary for newborns even in the healthiest of pregnancies,” said Lori Warner, director of Women & Children’s Services.  “Our NICU is for babies who need special medical attention after they are born, and sometimes, may have to stay a few days longer after their mother is discharged. We provide the latest technology in monitoring with an entire staff specially trained in caring for high-risk infants.”

The revamped NICU has 24 private rooms, each having a couch which easily can be converted into a bed. A nearby private lounge offers shower/bath facilities and refreshments for parents.

“We offer a unique service to increase parents’ confidence and ease the transition from the hospital to home,” said Warner. “Near the end of the infant’s stay, parents and their infants may room-in together and can learn confidently how to care for their baby after discharge from our round-the-clock nursing staff.”

When parents are away from the hospital, they can use remote monitoring, via their computers and mobile devices, to watch their babies.

The unit is entirely family-focused. “Virtual Visitation” allows siblings, out-of-town relatives and friends the opportunity to be introduced to the baby by parents.

Led by medical director Paul D. Winchester, MD, the NICU team has developed a robust program in caring for the sickest and most high-risk infants at the Franciscan St. Francis’ Indianapolis and Mooresville campuses.

Another significant phase of the overall project will be unveiled Dec. 4 with the opening of a new pediatrics wing. The fourth-floor unit includes nine private rooms and a staff of highly experienced, pediatric-certified nurses.

Additionally, the Pediatrics Services program offers outpatient IV and infusion services, a specialty clinic, lab testing, physical, occupational and speech therapy and a range of behavioral health and psychology services.

Other milestones loom on the horizon over the next year, particularly in obstetrical care:

·          7 triage rooms and an infusion area for newly admitted patients

·        12 expanded labor and delivery rooms
·         8 large antepartum suites with in-room refrigerators
·         2 operating room suites for caesarean procedures
·        34 postpartum suites and a nursery

“Throughout life, women have many questions about how best to manage their health and that of their families, particularly when they are expecting the birth of a child,” said Warner. “We offer a full range of women's health care services, from yearly checkups and prenatal care, to specialized gynecologic care.”

When the Women & Children’s Services project is completed, patients and visitors entering the first-floor lobby will have easy access to Women’s Health Services offices, massage therapy, Maternal/Fetal Medicine, Pelvic Health Services and an Outpatient Lactation Consultation Clinic.