The growing accessibility of video technology is making real-time virtual visits more practical than ever before. At Partners HealthCare-affiliated hospitals, secure virtual visits enables specialists to provide consults to community hospitals (provider-to-provider), on-call physicians to round remotely and patients to have follow-up visits with their psychiatrist or specialist (patient-to-provider) from the convenience and comfort of their homes. The Partners Collaborative Media group at Partners HealthCare supports these video-based programs.
Some examples of Virtual Visits at Partners HealthCare include:
- Psychology Virtual Visits
In the fall of 2011, a new program was implemented in order to give patients real-time access to their psychiatrists using a web-cam and a personal computer. Veterans and their families who are patients of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program are able to have follow-up visits via video, from the comfort of their home.
The Home Base Program serves veterans and family members affected by combat and deployment stress or traumatic brain injury. Thanks to a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Major League Baseball’s Welcome Back Veterans initiative, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have access to the same quality care, in a more stress-free and convenient environment, reducing their need to travel into Boston for their care.
- Connected Pediatric Critical Care
Connected Pediatric Critical Care is a video-based program that enables on-call attending physicians in the Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PICU) at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) to examine patients and communicate directly with the PICU staff, when the on-call attending physicians are at home during the overnight or on weekends.
"We are already seeing that this connected health program is significantly improving patient care, team communication and staff responsiveness during evening hours and weekends when our attending physicians, ultimately responsible for patient care, have left the hospital to go home." - Natan Noviski, MD, Chief, Pediatric Critical Medicine, MGH (right).
- Cardiology Virtual Visits
Specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital with clinical teams at community hospitals connect virtually for video-based consultations on challenging patient cases, including real-time review of patient images. The Partners Collaborative Media Group assisted with program design, workflow and technology support resulting in over 100 consults in the first three quarters of the programs start in 2013.