Hawaii Health Systems applies Trestle's wireless telemedicine system to bring diagnostics at patients' bedsides

Andover 11 January 2002Further validating the efficacy of telemedicine technologies from Trestle Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Med Diversified, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) recently expanded its partnership with the company, to bring three additional MedReach systems, including two portable, wireless workstations to Hawaii. These next generation telemedicine hardware solutions, which will be utilised at HHSC's Oahu and neighbour island locations in conjunction with the currently deployed MedReach System, can be brought to a patient's bedside, enabling clinicians to deliver remote examinations, diagnoses and treatments through collaboration with specialists at other HHSC facilities without disrupting or moving a patient to another area of the hospital.

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The MedReach system eliminates the need for expensive and time-consuming patient transportation or physician travel, resulting in tremendous financial savings, while markedly improving the quality of care. Through the MedReach system, HHSC provides fully interactive encounters between patients at one location and physicians at another via secure, virtual private networks using Web-based technologies. This software allows real time distributed care delivery across health care enterprises through the integration of information systems, telecommunications, medical devices, and clinical resources.

The new wireless MedReach system combines Aironet wireless applications from Cisco Systems and workstations from DELL Computer to enhance its Web-enabled video conferencing and peripheral diagnostic instrumentation capabilities. By compiling patient diagnostic imaging results, including MRIs, CTs, and general and dental X-rays, the MedReach system creates a single, digital multi-media chart that generates a longitudinal patient record, protected by authentication, encryption, and auditing mechanisms. When combined with Web-enabled video conferencing and peripheral diagnostic instrumentation capabilities, HHSC physicians can perform remote consultation, diagnosis and intervention, while eliminating costly transportation for patient or physician.

"Over the past two years, HHSC physicians have greatly improved the quality of patient care through the flexibility and efficacy of the MedReach system, while lowering our total cost of care. These proof points provide sound clinical and business motivation for increasing our involvement with this advanced technology", stated Tom Driskill, president and CEO of HHSC. "Now, with the portable MedReach workstation, accessibility and utilisation will be boosted, further lowering costs while empowering physicians to improve timeliness patient comfort and quality of care for all Hawaiian communities."

As a public benefit corporation, HHSC operates 12 long-term, rural and acute care locations treating tens of thousands patients per year. HHSC hospitals act as "safety-net" facilities both in rural and under-populated areas that offer no alternative for the delivery of medical care and for high acuity long-term care. Due to the geographic dispersion of the Hawaiian islands, HHSC or insurance companies sometimes incur tremendous expense, up to $15.000 per incident, in transporting patients by Medevac helicopter or ambulance in order to receive specialist consultations at urban locations. The wireless technology will first be tested at Leahi and Maluhia with the intent to further export it to other more remotely located HHSC facilities.

In addition to its 12 wholly owned hospitals, the HHSC network also includes numerous affiliated hospitals and clinics around the state, such as the Hana facility located on the eastern shore of Maui, which will benefit from the standard, stationary MedReach installation under this contract expansion. With this agreement, HHSC now utilises Trestle's distance medicine solution at 14 owned and affiliated locations.

"Our longstanding relationship with HHSC clearly demonstrates the clinical and operational value of the MedReach system", said Frank P. Magliochetti Jr., chairman and CEO of Med Diversified. "By increasing its reliance on telemedicine, this provider organisation continues to execute on its mission to leverage innovation in maintaining high standards for community-focused health care delivery, as well as fiscal responsibility." More news about Med Diversified is available in the VMW January 2002 article Med Diversified subsidiary to integrate bio-agent design into general tele-pathology application.


Leslie Versweyveld

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