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St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County Launches Telepsychiatry on the North Coast

10/02/2017

Eureka, CA (October 2, 2017) – St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County is pleased to announce that patients who arrive at the Emergency Departments (ED) at Redwood Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital in need of psychiatric treatment and evaluation will now have increased access to a psychiatrist through a new telepsychiatry service.

Telehealth uses telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical care remotely using privacy-protected technology that is similar to tele-conferencing. Telehealth is a service provided by health care organizations across the nation to provide access to specialties, like psychiatry, that are difficult to fill in rural communities. The telepsychiatry technology was developed in-house by the Providence Health and Services telehealth team and provides access at an affordable cost.

“Now, physicians in our Emergency Department are able to work in tandem with psychiatric clinicians remotely to evaluate and determine the needs of patients in a much more efficient and comprehensive manner,” said Traci Siler, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County’s Area Director of Nursing in the ED. “This is providing more immediate access to psychiatric care.”

As community hospitals, Redwood Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital care for patients who have a medical need and partner with the County and local psychiatrists to evaluate patients who have a psychiatric need, such as depression or suicidal ideation or attempt. This telehealth service will supplement these current standards of care already in place to help reduce the patients wait time to see a provider.

This service is currently available 7 days a week from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. in the ED at both hospitals, as well as in inpatient units at Redwood Memorial Hospital. Local psychiatrists will continue to provide psychiatric coverage to inpatient units at St. Joseph Hospital. The service will be expanded to the night shift (7 p.m.-7 a.m.) at St. Joseph Hospital Eureka and Redwood Memorial Hospital in early 2018.

About St. Joseph Hospital
St. Joseph Hospital has been serving the health care needs of Humboldt County since 1920. Comprised of two campuses, St. Joseph Hospital and the General Hospital campus are located within a quarter mile of each other in Eureka. SJH offers comprehensive services including emergency, cardiac services in The Heart Institute, an accredited Cancer Program, Women's and Children's Services in the Childbirth Center (including Pediatric Care and the only Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nursery (NICU) on the North Coast), Neurosurgery, and Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine.

About St. Joseph Health, Redwood Memorial Hospital
Redwood Memorial Hospital is a 25 bed Critical Care Access Hospital and a full-service, acute care facility dedicated to physically, emotionally, and spiritually uplifting our patients and their families. Redwood Memorial Hospital's holistic, patient-centered care philosophy reflects the belief that treating the patient's mind, body, and spirit and keeping the patient's needs at the forefront of all decisions results in more rapid healing and a more positive experience for the patient. Redwood Memorial hospital features a state-of-the-art surgery wing, radiology department, telerobot for remote physician consultations, 24/7 emergency room, critical care unit and outpatient rehabilitation services.

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