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Banner iCare

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Patients at Banner Churchill Hospital in Fallon have a team of doctors and nurses. Some take a patient's temperature and see her in the same room. And others monitor her vitals and care for her in a completely different state, even a different country. Banner Churchill now offers telemedicine called Banner iCare. John D'Angelo is the CEO at Banner Churchill. "It allows our physicians to get some sleep at night. The intensivists who are remotely located can write orders. If the patient had a cardiac arrest, we could run the code as we call it. So it's really just a safety factor."

The remote doctors work in California, Arizona, Colorado, even Tel Aviv, Israel. They are critical care licensed nurses and intensivist doctors who are licensed to practice in Nevada. They come into a patients room via a video monitor. Patients and doctors can both see each and talk to one another. Patients are liking the system. Alysia Sherwood is a Banner iCare nurse. "People are a lot more technology savvy now especially with Skype and FaceTime."

The idea is to keep critically ill patients close to home. "Without this program we might transfer a lot of our patients who could stay here because they need a little higher level of critical care."

It actually took an act of the Nevada legislature to allow telemedicine in the state. SB 327 changed Nevada law so doctors don't have to be able to physically examine patients. Besides keeping patients close to home, hospital leadership believes telemedicine is the future of critical care medicine and actually allows doctors to get to patients quicker. Dr. Zahid Virk is a Banner iCare doctor. "We respond immediately, within minutes, or 5, 6 seconds. We come in the room. So we can come into the room with the camera just like you were at the bedside."

For more information about this technology, visit www.bannerhealth.com

Written By Wendy Damonte
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