UW Health physicians, available anywhere
UW Health provides several telehealth initiatives that bring care to patients regardless of their location.
Primary care and specialty physicians may use live interactive video, share diagnostic images or vitals so a diagnosis and treatment plan can be done in collaboration in real-time.
Some services offered include:
Case conferences and continuing education
At UW Health, we offer a variety of tumor boards and case conferences to discuss patient cases in a multidisciplinary fashion. As an added benefit to our regional providers, many of these conferences welcome you to participate and submit and present your cases.
Entire multidisciplinary teams are present at each conference and assist with developing a comprehensive treatment plan for select patients. These multidisciplinary conferences offer a unique learning experience for UW faculty and regional providers alike.
Supporting the best possible outcomes for patients
Based in an off-site center, UW Health eICU is an electronic Intensive Care Unit that is staffed by a team of experts. Critical care doctors and nurses observe and communicate with patients and the bedside care teams at multiple locations through use of advanced technology.
Information such as patient's heart rate and blood pressure, blood test results, patient's medication list and x-rays can be sent to the UW Health eICU staff via confidential, high-speed data lines. With the aid of computers, UW Health eICU staff monitors and analyzes information and are alerted to possible problems.
UW Health eICU doctors and nurses believe that this high tech method of care will not replace the patient's personal doctors or bedside nurses but this method of care does provide additional support to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.
How clinical decisions about patient care are made
The patient's beside doctor and a UW Health eICU doctor generally collaborate together to make the final decisions regarding the care of the patient. Ultimately it is the bedside provider who determines if they should order the recommended orders given by the UW Health eICU doctor. Due to the fact that the patient's primary doctor and the UW Health eICU doctor discuss the medical status and treatment plans daily, the UW Health eICU doctor may modify treatment according to the primary doctor's plan of care when he or she is not present in the ICU.
Why cameras are necessary
To provide the best possible care, it is important for the UW Health eICU doctors and nurses to be able to observe a patient when needed. To ensure privacy, cameras are turned off except when needed to check on the patient status or deliver care. When a camera is turned off, it faces the wall. When the camera is turned on, it moves to face the patient and a green light signals that it is active.
How private information is protected
Several measures ensure that health information is kept confidential, including:
Access to patient information is strictly limited to those with hospital authorization so a patient's health information is not released to anyone other than those providing direct medical care.
No recordings are made from any camera or microphone in the patient rooms.
Any information sent to or from UW Health eICU is sent by private data lines. Any information sent through these data lines is scrambled, or encrypted, until it reaches either the UW Health eICU center or the hospital. It is then available for viewing by physicians or nurses. Information is not sent over the Internet.
Physicians working at the UW Health eICU center use a secure personal identification number as an authorized electronic signature when ordering treatments. These numbers are private and change regularly to ensure security.
The UW Health eICU center itself is secured and can be accessed only by UW Health eICU personnel.
For more information about UW Health's eICU services, contact:
Kim Kenney, MSN, RN, BS, CCRN-K
RN Program Director, eICU
How the eICU works
Pathology services across a wide geographic area
Telepathology allows pathologists to evaluate specimens - tissue samples - and make diagnoses using dynamic imaging technology far away from the specimens they are studying. The system accurately displays diagnostic features in a digitized image, which the pathologist interprets via a computerized visual system.
Telepathology studies have proven just as reliable as direct microscopy, during which the pathologist evaluates the specimen firsthand using a microscope. It increases a pathologist's efficiency, provides results to patients faster, and is an effective method of extending pathology services to cover wide geographic areas.
How telepathology works
A UW Health pathologist at a main laboratory is in contact with all involved staff at all points in the intraoperative consultation process. High-definition grossing cameras are used to allow for tissue dissection and discussion of issues related to tissue sampling (in a large specimen) or tissue orientation.
When the specimen slide is ready, it is scanned manually via a full 1080p, high-definition microscopic camera with instruction by the pathologist to assure all aspects of the slide are examined.
Enhanced patient care for patients who have experienced a stroke
The UW Health neurology program in Madison, Wis., spearheads the University of Wisconsin Telestroke Network, which offers consultation services for regional hospitals to enhance care for patients who have experienced a stroke.
Telestroke is a technology that allows UW Health stroke neurologists located in Madison to assist regional hospitals in the diagnosis of patients who arrive at the regional hospital emergency department with a suspected stroke, as well as provide support in deciding on the best treatment options for the patient.
In the emergency department exam room, there is a video camera system, microphone and computer that allow UW Health stroke neurologists to view the patient and communicate with regional physicians. The patient and family are also able to see and hear the UW Health stroke physician through the video link.
How telestroke works
Telestroke uses technology to make the most of the expertise of UW Health neurologists who specialize in the care of patients who have experienced a stroke.
With the aid of the computer-video system, the UW Health stroke neurologist is able to directly interview the patient and/or family members, perform a neurological examination including the complete National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and directly view the computed tomography (CT) scan to evaluate for intracranial hemorrhage or conditions that may mimic stroke in clinical presentation.
The telestroke neurologist then communicates a treatment recommendation directly to the emergency department doctors and nurses working with the patient in the emergency room to provide the best possible care.
Telestroke supports the expertise of emergency department doctors by providing immediate assistance in situations when a stroke is suspected. It also provides an extra level of stroke-specific knowledge that enhances patient safety and facilitates treatments that lead to better outcomes.
How private health information is protected
Several security measures ensure patient health information is kept confidential. No recordings are made from the camera or microphone. The telestroke consultation occurs over the Internet and is scrambled, or encrypted, so that it is only accessible to physicians with authorized access. The consultation report by the telestroke physician is kept in the medical record at the hospital where the patient presents in the emergency room.
For more information about UW Health's Telestroke Program, contact:
Joshua Ernst, BSN, RN, Telestroke Clinical Program Coordinator
Eliminate patient care delays by establishing a secure network link with UW Health for electronic image exchange. ImageShare is a complimentary service designed to quickly allow image sharing between UW Health and our partner organizations through secure network links.