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Telemedicine comes to Redwood Memorial Hospital

09/23/2010

Linda Rasmussen, Manager of the Critical Care Unit at Redwood Memorial Hospital, talks to consulting physician Dr. Gude through the telerobot.Redwood Memorial Hospital is excited to announce the addition of new technology to help better serve our patients. A telerobot, which has been named after Florence Nightingale or "Flo" for short, was unveiled earlier this month and is being used to add another layer of expertise to manage patient care.

The new telerobot allows physicians beyond the North Coast to consult and treat patients at Redwood Memorial Hospital. From home, a clinic or office, a specialist team can "beam" in from a control station to the telerobot and interact with patients, family members and hospital staff. This new diagnostic tool removes time and distance barriers which play a key role in helping to keep patients from having to travel outside the area for advanced care. The telerobot has a big screen, eyes, a head that moves, ears, a stethoscope and the capability of navigating around the hospital on its own.

The new technology allows a physician to make consultations when it is not possible to be physically at a patient’s bedside. Through the telerobot, the physician can discuss a patient’s status at the nurses’ station, drive into the patient’s room, observe patient behavior, check bedside monitors and ventilator settings, discuss care with the patient and/or family members, and return to the nurses’ station to give orders or discuss the next steps. Redwood Memorial Hospital believes this new technology will help improve the quality of care and patient safety by allowing outside physicians to be more available during a critical time of need.

"Telerobotics brings state of the art technology to Redwood Memorial Hospital Hospital and allows real-time, 24/7 access to specialty care," says Linda Rasmussen, Critical Care Unit Manager at Redwood Memorial Hospital.

An open house will be held in the hospital lobby to introduce the community to the telerobot on September 29 at 11 a.m. Joe Rogers, V.P. of Redwood Memorial Hospital will be speaking at 11:30 a.m. and a physician will be "beaming in." Visitors and staff will be able to get a close look at "Flo" in action.

Funding for the telerobot comes from the Redwood Memorial Hospital Foundation. For more information about the telerobot at Redwood Memorial Hospital, call (707) 725-3361 ext 2610.

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