Mercy Hospital the fifth largest Catholic healthcare system in the U.S, is constructing a 120,000 square foot facility to be called Mercy Virtual http://bit.ly/MercyVirtual. This facility is going to accommodate nearly 300 physicians, nurses, specialists, researchers, and staff to become the world’s first virtual care/telemedicine center.
Mercy Virtual expected to open mid-2015, estimates that the center will manage more than 3 million telehealth visits in the first five years and be a major hub for telemedicine research and training.
The programs to be housed and coordinated in the Center includes:
- SafeWatch—the largest electronic ICU in the country now monitoring more than 400 beds at 10 hospitals across a four state area. The system provides 24/7 remote support to doctors and the bedside care team
- Telestroke—Mercy ERs will house supportive 24/7 remote neurology medical teams available to all Mercy facilities
- Teleradiology—24/7 remote radiology medical teams will be available to all Mercy facilities
- Telepathology—24/7 will quickly provide general and specific diagnostic services
In addition, support will be given to primary care by monitoring patients in their homes. Patients will be connected through home-based technologies to monitor blood pressure, results from EKGs, blood glucose, medication compliance, and patients with chronic conditions. Nurse-on-Call services and an e-pharmacy will also provide additional assistance.
The Center will train new co-workers and physicians on Mercy’s care model and instruct trainees on how to use the Center and the technologies to enhance the patient’s experience. The training area will also include the latest medical simulation technologies.
According to Dr. Randy Moore, President of Mercy Virtual, “Time of day, distance, and geography will no longer be obstacles in connecting patients and expert care teams. People who are far from advanced healthcare facilities often wait until an issue becomes critical before they seek care but with Virtual Care, they won’t have to wait”.