Telehealth breaks all barriers and connects doctors, patients, staff members, and visitors in ways that not even person-to-person encounters can do. Hospitals that adapt to these digital communication opportunities will thrive in this market that’s more competitive than ever.
Investing and focusing on interconnectivity is the future. The health sector is not a stranger to technological advances, yet many hospitals and clinics fall short when it comes to technical demands. The COVID-19 pandemic quickened the need for telehealth, and hospitals not only needed to manage the pandemic but undergo a massive digital transformation.
One college that was ahead of its time in terms of telehealth is the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), which we highlighted in our recent webinar.
The Wide Reach of MUSC
MUSC operates an extensive healthcare network that includes:
- Six colleges
- Eight hospitals
- 100 outreach sites
- 275 telehealth locations
- 1,600 hospital beds
The university network provides education, research, and patient care. It has also been the top-rated hospital in the state for five consecutive years. Plus, for the past six years, MUSC leveraged its Vidyo connection to continue to advance its connectivity and prepare for the most uncertain situations.
Finding a Solution for Low-Bandwidth Rural Areas
In a recent webinar held with Vidyo, Michael Haschker, Manager of Telehealth Technologies at the Medical University of South Carolina, spokeabout why they chose Vidyo.
In most cases, hospitals and clinics have three-year plans to deploy their telehealth strategies. MUSC couldn’t afford to wait years to implement its telehealth expansion — it needed fast results. Hoping to support the mostly rural state of South Carolina, MUSC had found it difficult to trust their initial video conferencing provider. They had experienced frustrations from failed connections in low-bandwidth situations to slow deployment of secure and practical solutions.
By working with Vidyo, MUSC used the VidyoHealth platform to offer stable communications to patients living in low-bandwidth areas. Thanks to the systems, MUSC shifted from a single hospital into a healthcare system interconnected through one secure platform. This improvement was all made with minimal in-house IT assistance, which was vital during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Instead of merely offering telehealth solutions, MUSC was looking to create a complete medical experience. Thankfully, Vidyo platforms integrated with its healthcare software, including EPIC, and myChart which allows doctors to access all information in one place. Thanks to this integration, every physician had access to see vital information that helped them offer a more comprehensive and complete patient experience.
At the forefront of innovation, MUSC implemented Vidyo solutions directly onambulances to provide mental health calls. The program allowed them to save $1 million on non-emergency department interventions.
The Urgent Need for Telehealth Expansion
Although Vidyo’s healthcare case study shows that many providers are considering expanding their telehealth capabilities, COVID-19 exposed the urgency of the immediate deployment of such solutions.
With Vidyo, MUSC was able to increase virtual patient visits between March and May of 2020 by 1400%. The majority of their inpatient and outpatient visits transitioned into telehealth appointments within a four-week window. Most importantly, patients and doctors in rural areas were able to maintain connectivity thanks to Vidyo’s functionality with low-bandwidth connections.
Over the course of the pandemic thus far, MUSC has been able to connect patients and doctors over 30 miles apart. Healthcare practitioners are required to enter patient rooms much less frequently which has helped protect them from COVID-19 as well as reducing the cost and depletion of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply. All the while, patients who were unable to have friends and family visit were able to communicate with loved ones for support.
What’s Next for MUSC
MUSC is no stranger to the power of telecommunications. As they look into the future, their focus is on thier brand new state-of-the-art children’s hospital with Vidyo, Epic and GetWellNetwork systems in every room. This integrated technology allows physicians to review charts, connect with patients, and conduct rounds virtually. Children can also invite family and friends to a live video visit in their room.
Furthermore, thanks to its virtual ambulance pilot program’s success, they plan to integrate the Vidyo EMS program to other counties across South Carolina.
Learn More about VidyoHealth
Moving toward virtual communication solutions today is the best investment organizations can make to safeguard themselves. Contact the industry leaders in video solutions to learn more about VidyoHealth and VidyoConnect services today.