It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words and that during an emergency, every second counts.

With a telemedicine service in the rural hospital Emergency Departments at Mayo Clinic Health System in Barron, Bloomer and Osseo, pictures are improving emergency response.

Telemedicine allows physicians in the Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire to “see” and communicate in real time with patients, their family members and local emergency medical providers.

Using high-definition videoconferencing units, telemedicine connects patients and medical providers from two or more locations. It offers a zoom feature for close-up views. The patient also is able to see and talk with the physician. The system:

  • Supports staff in making decisions about emergency stabilization and transport
  • Enhances communication between referring and accepting emergency personnel
  • Offers another mode of communication with patients and families regarding care during the transport process
  • Increases the readiness of Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire emergency personnel for the arrival and treatment of trauma patients

“In select cases, an experienced emergency department physician from Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire will be available in consultation essentially ‘at the bedside’ in Barron and Bloomer,” says Alex Beuning, M.D.

“The regional emergency rooms have quality staff in place that skillfully handle many emergency situations. The benefit with telemedicine is the emergency medicine physicians in Eau Claire who are experienced in trauma and other critical situations are immediately involved in the care of patients,” he adds. “Patients will be able to communicate directly with Emergency Department providers in Eau Claire and ask questions about their possible transfer and care.”

The signals sent between locations are encrypted so transmissions are secure and private in compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulations.

Learn more about stroke telemedicine.