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IVCi Customer Profile:

North Shore-LIJ Health System Uses Video Conferencing and Streaming Video to Improve Standard of Care

By Nina Parker

As an organization committed to providing the highest quality clinical care to its patients, North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System recognized that it could improve the standard of care for its patients if its geographically dispersed doctors could share information more efficiently. To achieve this, North Shore-LIJ partnered with IVCi to implement Polycom video conferencing systems and best practices, as well as Accordent streaming video solutions.

The Challenge

The North Shore-LIJ Health System is one of the largest in the country, consisting of 15 hospitals and numerous health care facilities located throughout Long Island, Queens, and Staten Island. It employs about 38,000 health care professionals, including 8,000 doctors for whom efficient collaboration and information sharing is a top priority.

North Shore-LIJ's physicians often attend lectures given by leading medical experts to keep informed of the latest developments in medicine. They also attend multidisciplinary events like breast cancer tumor boards, where specialists from the various hospitals meet to share their experiences and engage in lively dialogue so as to determine best practices.

However, getting busy physicians from different disciplines and locations together at the same time for these events was problematic. If doctors had to travel to a lecture at a North Shore-LIJ host site in another borough, the commute time could easily take up much of the day. Dennis Skahill, Director of North Shore-LIJ Studios, recognized the need for a solution to unite the doctors more efficiently. "It is hard to get thousands of doctors to change their routines," he said. "Not everyone meets at the same time in the same discipline. We needed a way to distribute the information seamlessly."

The Solution

North Shore-LIJ implemented a video conferencing solution that would allow doctors to meet face to face without having to change their routines or spend their valuable time traveling. As video conferencing became an accepted form of collaboration within the heath system and more doctors began using it, Skahill looked to expand upon and update the technology. He turned to IVCi as industry experts who could provide video conferencing strategy, equipment, installation, and maintenance.

IVCi's goal was to further demonstrate the value of video conferencing to North Shore-LIJ, as well as show how it could help it achieve its goals for more efficient collaboration. IVCi worked with Skahill to define the best configuration for North Shore-LIJ's video conferencing needs, while ensuring that the health system earn the highest return on its investment. IVCi then installed numerous Polycom VSX systems in the North Shore-LIJ conference rooms, including the main auditoriums where lectures are held.

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IVCi also recommended a streaming video solution from Accordent to complement the Polycom video conferencing systems. Accordent's streaming software archives the video conference as it takes place, so that doctors with varying schedules can get the same experience directly on their desktop - whenever they choose to view it. Streaming also gives doctors the option to take tests on the subject matter presented, earning them certifications in their fields.

The Results

Before video conferencing, each hospital held separate meetings. Now, video conferencing has increased the number of lectures physicians are able to attend, as well as the number of doctors from various disciplines who are able to provide expert opinions on cases. It has also enhanced information sharing, leading to the establishment of best medical practices. "The specialists can present their findings and experiences to each other," said Skahill. "They can all talk about what could possibly be the best treatment, the best approaches, and the latest statistics and medical studies. It is very eye opening in many cases."

Because the video conferencing strategy and solution provided by IVCi has contributed to more successful collaboration among physicians, it has improved the standard of care that patients receive. "The bottom line is that these conferences really help patients" says Skahill. "Before, physicians would all hold separate meetings. But when you open the meetings up to doctors across the health system, the standard of care just skyrockets. "

For additional information regarding video conferencing and audio visual integration or any of IVCi's products and services, please call 1-800-224-7083 ext. 109, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.

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