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Mayo Clinic converges emergency telemedicine practices

Steve Rogerson
August 24, 2016

The Mayo Clinic has announced a converged emergency telemedicine practice to enhance the services it offers to the more than 45 hospitals across nine states in the USA.
Emergency telemedicine provides acute medical assessments to people who need immediate emergency care through video communications. A Mayo Clinic medical specialist located at a distance from the patient connects via technology with local care teams to assess, diagnose and treat patients. This type of care relies on the expertise of medical, surgical and allied health staff, as well as reliable, fast and secure technology.
This convergence enables Mayo Clinic to work with one vendor to create scalable, standardised services across its nationwide telemedicine enterprise. Prior to this convergence, the Minnesota-based non-profit organisation worked with numerous vendors as it grew its emergency telemedicine practice. This new strategy consolidates effort, while continuing Mayo’s clinical focus through the technical proficiency and ease of use for care teams.
“By combining the breadth and depth of Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise with a standardised technology across the enterprise, we will be able to create a comprehensive, integrated, multispecialty emergency telemedicine programme,” said Bart Demaerschalk, a Mayo Clinic neurologist and the medical director of synchronous telemedicine. “Through this programme, we can provide specialty consults and guidance for medical and surgical emergencies in adults and children.”
Also, according to Demaerschalk, this strategy provides a seamless patient experience and more opportunity for Mayo Clinic to grow its clinical service lines.
The initial telemedicine service lines to participate in this convergence are Telestroke and Teleneonatology. Mayo Clinic already provides care to more than 5000 people per year through these service lines. The convergence should enable it to help more patients across more sites.
“This is an exciting milestone for connected care at Mayo Clinic,” said Christopher Colby, telehealth director for pediatrics at Mayo Clinic. “We will now offer a technology platform specifically designed to deliver emergent telemedicine consultation. Perhaps equally as important is that this will bring expertise from the Mayo Clinic enterprise together to develop world-class telemedicine across many service lines.”
The converged emergency telemedicine practice is one example of how Mayo Clinic’s Center for Connected Care is implementing its telemedicine strategy. The centre is committed to developing comprehensive telemedicine technologies and remote digital health services that meet the needs of one patient or many patients.
“Mayo Clinic provides an unparalleled experience as the most trusted partner for health care by connecting Mayo knowledge and expertise to anyone, anywhere, anytime to make the best health decisions,” said Demaerschalk. “Connected care involves bringing together customers, technology, products and service line offerings.”
The first phase of this convergence will begin in late summer and continue through the first part of 2017.