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    TeleCare Has Arrived at California Pacific Medical Center

    Just in time for the New Year, the Forbes Norris ALS Research Center has launched the first California Pacific Medical Center TeleCare Outreach Service. Made possible through gifts from the California Pacific Women’s Board and the Junior Committee of the Women’s Board, this system will transform our interaction with disabled patients.

    “This product is fantastic. We are able to consult with patients and physicians throughout the world, but more importantly, our patients don’t need to travel to consult with us,” states Robert Miller, M.D., Medical Director of the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center.

    Bringing Health Care to Your Home

    Since many ALS and neuromuscular disease patients can become progressively trapped in their homes and are unable to travel due to paralysis, they can fall behind in their care management. We can now bring our clinical staff to them.

    Much like video conferencing, the quality high-definition (HD) video image allows our health care team to interact directly with patients in real time, called “tele-presence.” In addition, our TeleCare system features three-way conferencing capabilities; connecting rural physicians through the TeleCare Network video bridge. This allows local providers to participate in clinic visits, ask real-time questions, and see and hear the interaction between the Norris ALS Center team and their patient.

    The project was organized in collaboration with the Northern Sierra Rural Health Network (NSRHN), an entity now part of the Health Alliance of Northern California.Opens new window

    The Norris Center staff works with a local health care representative who travels to the patient’s home and sets up shop using a laptop computer and the TeleCare audio / video device. The on-site representative, assists as needed, by drawing lab specimens or checking vital signs, as well as helping to assess movement or breathing difficulties simultaneously with the Norris Center staff member.

    “This service is something we have wanted for a long time. Many of our patients have difficulty getting to a local doctor let alone traveling hours to visit us in San Francisco,” explains Jodi Bales, OTR and ALS Clinical Supervisor. “Many ALS and neuromuscular disease patients are actually trapped in their homes and just when they need human contact the most, they become more isolated. TeleCare feels just like you are in the room with your patients.” Using TeleCare allows the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center to take the art of medicine from our clinic to the patient’s home without leaving the office. Now isn’t that a great way to start the New Year.