Monday, June 10, 2013

VCI-Group MEMBER SPOTLIGHT, Pamela Davis, Marquette General Hospital System

VCI-Group MEMBER SPOTLIGHT, Pamela Davis, Marquette General Hospital System

Pamela Davis
System Analyst
Information Technology Dept.
Marquette General Health System
(906) 225-3018

Burton:  Please provide an overview of Marquette General Health System (locations, services provided, capacity, specialties, etc.).

Davis:  Marquette General Health System (MGHS) is located in the upper peninsula of Michigan in Marquette, MI.  MGHS is a 315 bed Hospital and a Level II Trauma Center, and has been named by Thomson Reuters as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital, has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers, and Blue Distinction for Spine Surgery from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Our medical staff of more than 200 doctors work as a team with our 2,400 employees in caring for approximately 12,000 inpatients and more than 350,000 outpatients a year.

As a 315-bed specialty care hospital, Marquette General receives patients from throughout Upper Michigan, and provides care in 65 specialties and subspecialties.  Some of the specialties at MGHS are: Bariatric & Metabolic, Behavioral Health, Brain & Spine Center, Cancer Center, Heart and Vascular, Home Health & Hospice, Imaging Services, Infusion Services, Laboratory Services, Rehabilitation Center, Wellness Center, Surgical Services, Volunteer Services, Weight Loss Center Women’s & Children’s, Neonatal Intensive Care and ICU.  There are 12 satellite clinics in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

MGHS is also home to the Upper Peninsula Telehealth Network (UPTN), Michigan's most extensive telehealth network providing core services in clinical telemedicine, professional education and administrative meetings to residents of the Upper Peninsula and Northern Great Lakes Region.  UPTN provides core services in professional education, the medium for clinical consultations, the medium for administrative meetings, community education and video conferencing services for community groups/businesses. Teleradiology and telepathology in the region was initiated as part of the UPTN, and leadership now resides within the imaging and information technology sectors of MGHS.

Burton:  What are some of the technologies (endpoints, infrastructure, managed services) that MGHS is currently using for delivery of healthcare services, healthcare administration, continuing medical education, etc.?

Davis:  MGHS has a Polycom MGC (bridge), Polycom RMX (bridge), Polycom DMA, Polycom Resource Manager, VBP’s and Polycom HDX 8000’s, HDX 7000’s, VSX 7000’s and PVX software.  MGHS provides telemedicine services, medical case conferences, administrative meetings and educational events.  We utilize video conference technologies to facilitate medical consultation, to educate health care practitioners, to education communities on health care issues, and to increase efficiencies through remote administrative meetings.

Burton:  What are some current MGHS projects that incorporate visual communications equipment/services?
Davis:  MGHS is currently using video conferencing for telemedicine for psychiatric, pediatric, neurology, hematology/oncology, infectious disease, internal medicine, NICU, weight management, orthopedic, court hearings, dietician and specialty clinics.

MGHS is also planning to use video conferencing equipment for a new tele-stroke program, as well as interpreter services.

Burton:  What are some recent healthcare successes you’ve experienced using videoconferencing technology?

Davis:  MGHS has experienced numerous successes using video conferencing equipment for education, patient consults and other services.

Some of the project successes include:
·        The multi system clinic in partnership with Michigan State University Hematology Oncology for the bleeding disorder clinic
·        Interpreter services for language barriers and sign language
·        Tumor board reviews difficult cases with a variety of doctors at varying locations/offices
·        Neonatal Intensive Care bonding(s) with mom’s at another hospital
·        Nursing home patient from Newberry, MI that has access to the Infectious Disease doctors when she is in a state that would make travel extremely difficult
·        A recent bariatric patient only had to travel four miles to Baraga County Memorial Hospital, versus 68 miles to Marquette General Hospital, to have her six-month post-operative appointment with Marquette General Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Wayne English.

Burton:  What are some of the biggest challenges that MGHS has faced in implementing videoconferencing and other technologies for telemedicine, etc.?

Davis:  Some of the biggest challenges faced by MGHS in the implementation of technology includes budgeting for training and keeping equipment up to date.  The UPTN had been fortunate to receive several federal and state grants to develop and expand the telehealth network to meet the growing needs of health care in our region. Without this financial assistance, the small health care facilities would not have been able to justify the start-up costs that were required at the time of deployment. Now the network sustainability has been achieved through site independence, infrastructure collaboration with the regional health information network, membership fees, and fee-for-service opportunities available to non-network organizations.

Burton:   If you could send a message to vendors about products, services, interoperability, etc., what would it be?  Is there anything you would like to see changed or offered in the future?

Davis:  Using companies that make standards-based equipment that are interoperable with other systems is a large part of our success as well as maintaining service contracts on equipment and keeping them updated with the latest software versions available.

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