Fremont Area Medical Center

SUM 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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M E D I C A L T E C H N O L O G Y The future is NOW How online medicine can improve your health By Kelly Burgess F SHUTTERSTOCK rom information-sharing to diagnoses made remotely, online medicine is quickly making real-time medical expertise available anytime, anywhere. "I think we're at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using technology in the medical field," says Dr. Albert A. Rizzo, who is medical director of Ecare, Christiana Care Health Services, Newark, Del. "There are costs and learning curves involved, but its future is unlimited." HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY One of the most visible applications of online medicine is electronic medical records. Instead of flipping through paper charts, doctors are now bringing notebook computers into exam rooms. "This has made a huge difference in our ability to effectively treat our patients," says Dr. Joseph K. Hyon, physician clinical system integration adviser and internal medicine specialist at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J. "We now have a lot of information in one screenshot that summarizes our patient's history. It's very intuitive and tells us how often they come to the office and what medications they're taking, and alerts us to subtle changes in their lab tests." It can also help save patients money by identifying issues that would normally require a second appointment, says Dr. Tina Tanner, affiliated with Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont, Mich. "Someone may come to see me because they have a cold, and I can see at a glance that they're past due for their mammogram and write them a [prescription] for that, as well," she says. REMOTE HEALTHCARE One of the most fascinating applications of electronic medicine is in the field of telemedicine, defined as the ability to provide remote diagnosis and treatment. Telemedicine itself is not new, but improved technologies have expanded its possibilities. "In critical care settings, we can use cameras or telemetry to monitor or triage patients," says Dr. Rizzo. "Being able to link to a trauma surgeon can help determine if a patient can be stabilized locally or needs to be transferred to a more well-equipped facility." Dr. P.K. Gugnani, who is affiliated with Mercy Hospital, Fort Scott in Fort Scott, Kansas, says telemedicine in the intensive care unit (ICU), called eICU, enables the hospital to offer a higher level of service to patients. w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m (continued on page 16) S U M M E R 2 013 SPI RIT O F WOM EN 15

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