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Northwell Health Launches Teleburn Network

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   July 06, 2023

The New York-based health system is using telemedicine to triage calls from three outlying hospitals so that ED doctors can assess patients with burn injuries and either treat or transport them to a burn center.

Northwell Health has launched a telemedicine program aimed at helping care providers triage burn victims.

The teleburn program connects specialists at Staten Island University Hospital's Regional Burn Center to three outlying hospitals in the New York City area to help providers determine whether a patient can be treated on site or transported to the burn center.

“With this technology we can tell pretty quickly the different depths of burns, how large the burns are and what the treatments should be,” Michael Cooper, MD, the burn center's director, said in a recent press release. “This information is vital to provide the most accurate assessment of a burn injury which can lead to the best outcome for the patient.”

The program is the latest example of a hub-and-spoke telemedicine platform, which connects specialists at the central hospital to providers in distant, more remote locations, such as hospitals, clinics and health centers. The model gives providers in outlying areas the clinical decision support they need to either care for their patients or schedule an emergency transport, reducing the time spent on consults and speeding up the time to treatment.

[See also: Understanding the Value of a Hub-and-Spoke Telemedicine Program.]

“With this technology, we can have a quick evaluation by a physician who is miles away and who can help us make decisions about care and whether we need to transfer a patient to that site,” Christopher Calandrella, DO, chair of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, one of the three spoke hospitals piloting the program, said in the press release.

When a burn patient is brought into Long island Jewish Forest Hills in Queens or Long Island Jewish Valley Stream and Long Island Medical Center, both in Long Island, ED providers can open an audio-visual telemedicine link with a specialist at the burn center to assess the severity of the burns. If the wounds are deemed severe, or if the hospital doesn't have the inpatient capacity or staff on site to treat other injuries like sever smoke inhalation, an ambulance or helicopter transport can be ordered.

Other examples of hub-and-spoke telemedicine networks include telestroke services, telpsych consults and school-based telehealth networks.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Health systems across the country are using hub-and-spoke telemedicine platforms to enable distant and rural care sites to access specialists for expedited diagnosis and treatment.

Northwell Health is using this platform to make its burn treatment specialists at Staten Island University Hospital's Regional Burn Center available to help ED doctors in three hospitals assess burn patients.

Through an audio-visual telemedicine connection, specialists can assess the severity of a patient's burns and either help local doctors develop a treatment plan or order emergency transport to the burn center.


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