At the 2013 American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference, held May 5th-7th in Austin, Texas, more than 5,000 healthcare providers and telemedicine experts shared and learned from one another how video telepresence can improve both patient care delivery and the organizational bottom line.  ATA’s keynote speaker, Lynn Britton, the CEO of Mercy Healthcare System, discussed how telemedicine impacts the 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient locations, and more than 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma in the Mercy Healthcare System. Mr. Britton outlined the need for an institutional Virtual Care Center which would, in his words “be a place where healthcare providers operate a hub of care in which, through telemedicine patients are triaged and provided a coordination of care through three venues; Local, Regional and Virtual.”
Mr. Britton discussed that through Mercy’s Virtual Care Center, an asynchronous video telepresence platform and system wide health information exchange (HIE) would result in a reduction in mortality for stroke and sepsis patients.  Further, this real time virtual care could reduce critical care patient mortality rates by an estimated 25%.
Mercy Healthcare System is connected to the Arkansas Telehealth Network (ATN), which is connected to Internet2 via the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON).  Through its connection to Internet2, Mercy facilities and healthcare providers can expand their telemedicine reach and collaborate with other healthcare institutions nationwide, including the Mayo Clinic, multiple Children’s Hospitals, more than 100 university medical schools and health centers, and several other statewide telehealth networks.
Internet2 sees these innovative deployments of telemedicine systems and HIE’s as a means to provide virtual, real-time, and cost effective healthcare. The Internet2 Network is architected to deliver superior connectivity with low latency and jitter for applications, such as telemedicine, which demands high performance connectivity.  Our network supports hundreds of healthcare facilities nationwide, enabling new advances in patient care through its U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) program.  For more information on how your healthcare organization can connect to Internet2 and harness high performance connectivity for telemedicine, please contact us at info@usucan.org