Holliswood introduces telemedicine

Centers Health Care partners with Call9

- October 16, 2017

As featured in the Queens Tribune

The Holliswood Center in Southeast Queens is on the cutting edge of emergency service technology as the result of a partnership with a Silicon Valley-based start-up.
 
The service, known as Call9, cuts out the middle man in emergency situations and, instead, offers nearly instantaneous treatment via modern technology. As explained by Dr. Timothy Peck, one of the minds behind the service, Call9 Technology delivers bedside emergency care to patients in rehabilitation centers and nursing homes and virtually replaces the need to call 911.

“I’m an emergency physician by training,” Peck said. “The problem that I tried to solve is that there can be up to an hour between someone calling 911 and the physician getting to a patient. In situations where the patient’s heart has stopped, it can take 36 minutes to see a physician.”

In most cases, when emergencies occur at nursing homes, a nurse on staff has to rely on calling 911. While waiting for help to arrive, moments are lost that could be critical for the patient. Call9 has staff members who are known as Clinical Care Specialists (CCS). The CCSs are on-site around the clock and ready to respond with the help on an off-site physician, who is contacted via video conferencing and acts as the eyes of the emergency responders. Meanwhile, CCSs follow the expert’s advice and recommendations. With this system in place, treatment is merely a phone call away, Peck said.

The CCSs are provided all equipment that would be needed for an emergency. This includes the tools required for ultrasounds, drawing blood and other forms of basic geriatric care.
Peck, a New York City native who has seen the effect delayed medical responses can have on a patient, explained that the idea is a marriage between strides made in computer science and the medical field.

“Nearly 19 percent of ambulances that travel to the emergency room originate from nursing homes,” Peck said. “When you think about the patient, this is not a great experience to be going back and forth between the emergency room and the nursing home that they reside in.”

Through the Call9 service, patients, such as the ones at the Holliswood Center, are saved from this constant hassle. They instead become acquainted with the CCSs, which Peck said is one of the advantages that Holliswood has embraced.

“I think that it is effective because we get to keep the patient in-house” Nurse Yves Pascal, the director of nursing at Holliswood, told the PRESS of Southeast Queens. “By doing this, they feel safe. They are familiar with who they are surrounded by and trust the people taking care of them.”

Holliswood Administrator Zevi Lipschitz said he was proud to see that individual Call9 members who are off-site have taken it upon themselves to visit patients at the center to familiarize themselves.

“Patients begin to recognize them,” he said. “It creates a level of comfort that we are all about here at the center.”
Pascal also explained that reduced response times result in conditions having less of a chance of being exacerbated by a lack of action.

Holliswood Center is the only facility in Queens to offer such a service. Call9 hopes to expand its services to additional locations in the future.

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