Telemedicine at St. Martin Hospital

5/31/2017

In an effort to keep our patients closer to home when they have a need for a cardiac evaluation or  treatment, St. Martin Hospital (SMH) has partnered with Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS). This partnership provides expert cardiac services 24/7 with board certified cardiologists and specialized nurse practitioners.

Drs. Augustino Ingraldi and Ryan Chauffe are now available in their new CIS office on Champagne Boulevard, and in any patient room through the technology of telemedicine monitors. The CIS physician on call can have a face-to-face consultation with the SMH patient at their hospital bedside.

SMH nurses wheel the monitor, nicknamed “Jayson” (Greek for Healer), into the patient’s room. The physician on call controls where the “face” of the monitor turns and appears on the screen speaking directly to the patient. He can zoom in for a closer look at the patient, the EKG, look for neck vein distention or other symptoms, and can zoom out to speak with the patient and family members. A special stethoscope is placed on the patient’s chest so the doctor can listen to the patient’s heart for any abnormalities in real time. CIS physicians use the same electronic medical record as SMH. They can review the chart, look at the patient’s history, make recommendations, place orders and document notes during the consultation.

Patients who will benefit most from this technology are those with chest  pain that are trying to rule out a heart attack, patients with chronic heart failure that may need to restrict fluid intake or patients with abnormal heart rhythms that need to be monitored for medication control.

Prior to this new innovation at St. Martin Hospital, many of these patients had to be transferred to larger facilities to access cardiac services needed for their care. This type of consultation is available both in our Emergency Room and Inpatient Unit. Nurses receive additional training to be prepared to take care of acutely ill and chronic cardiac patients. We are very proud to be able to serve the people of St. Martin Parish and keep them closer to home and their families.

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