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COVID-19 Telehealth Innovation in Northern New Hampshire

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Author: Mike Walsh | CEO
COVID-19 Telehealth Innovation in Northern New Hampshire

The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 has been felt around the globe with the healthcare system experiencing the most dramatic burden. Our partners at Macronet brought us in to work together at North Country Health in Northern New Hampshire on an innovative solution to provide their hospital network with telemedicine solutions. North Country Healthcare is the parent organization of three Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and one home health and hospice agency.

Telehealth has been growing substantially in recent years, offering hospitals, primary care doctors and other health care organizations the opportunity to serve previously unreachable patients. The result is improved outcomes, increased revenue and a better quality of life for all parties, but the necessary up-front investment for telemedicine infrastructure can seem daunting, particularly for healthcare systems supporting rural areas like North Country Health. It’s understandable. Historically, equipment has been expensive and proprietary, and telemedicine platforms are constantly evolving.

Macronet and DGI, working with Zoom, designed a mobile video conferencing unit enabling North Country Health to connect its hospice and senior care living facilities to the medical staff in the CAHs. The telemedicine cart enables the medical staff and patient to consult and review over a live video feed. The cart is self-powered and can run for up to 12 hours without being plugged in. North Country Health anticipates immediate savings by delivering this solution to aging and limited-mobility patients, reducing ambulance costs transporting this population to the CAHs. Along with reduced ambulance costs, they are able to protect patients and staff members from potential disease transmission. A high-risk patient in quarantine can now be reached via this telehealth platform.

The telemedicine cart was immediately put to use in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. Hospital networks have restricted non-essential employee access to senior care facilities to limit residents’ exposure to the virus, and are trying to keep seniors outside of critical care hospitals where they have a higher chance of coming in contact with an individual who has COVID-19.

Telemedicine helps prevent the elderly from unnecessary contact with anyone inside the critical care network. Here are some use cases and our solution design, featuring Zoom and Tangent:

Use Cases for Telemedicine

  • Healthcare practitioner to home care patient consult
  • Nursing home to doctor/nurse/NP
  • Hotline check-in between patient and healthcare organization
  • Assessment and consultation
  • Vitals assessment monitoring, including oxygen, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature

Hardware & Software:

Telemedicine solutions are more critical than ever. Macronet and DGI can help you design and implement a cost-effective telemedicine solution that fits your healthcare organization, just like we did for North Country Health.

Author:
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Mike Walsh | CEO

Mike Walsh is a 15+ year veteran in the audio visual industry, bringing extensive knowledge of AV design, implementation, service and sales to DGI. Mike is high energy, providing leadership and driving innovation for the diverse divisions that make up our company. He’s also led a team that was recognized as the top integration firm serving educational markets in the country two years running.

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