Passavant, SIU Offer Telehealth Services
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Passavant Area Hospital are partnering to bring virtual health care to the residents of Jacksonville and surrounding counties.
Through telehealth services, patients can visit Springfield medical specialists using videoconferencing technology at Passavant Area Hospital instead of traveling to Springfield.
Patients will have access to advanced care in multiple specialties, including neurology, dermatology, infectious disease and endocrinology.
An SIU telehealth virtual visit is the same as a regular face-to-face visit and, in most cases, is covered by insurance, said Dr. Nina Antoniotti, SIU’s executive director of telehealth and clinical outreach. High-definition audio and videoconferencing technology enable specialists to deliver the same level of care as in-person visits.
“This partnership with SIU will allow local residents to stay close to home and use our facility to continue their care,” said Harry Schmidt, president and CEO of Passavant Area Hospital. “Patients will be guided through their telehealth visits by a clinical telepresenter who has been specially trained by SIU to ensure the process goes smoothly and patients are comfortable.”
Some of the advantages of telehealth services include improved access to care, reduced time from referral to appointment, improved patient outcomes and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients.
“This partnership allows us to fulfill the hospital’s mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve by strengthening convenient access to healthcare services to residents in rural areas,” Schmidt said. “By offering access to care from a variety of specialists in a convenient location, we believe we’ll see a healthier community as a result.”
SIU telehealth technology is currently installed in 12 locations throughout rural Illinois, Antoniotti said. Patients who wish to schedule an SIU telehealth visit should work with their local physicians.
To help educate the public on the benefits of the technology, Passavant and SIU Medicine will host an informational community event on Wednesday, May 10, that will include a mock telehealth appointment. The event runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room 4 at Passavant. Call 217-479-5800 to register.
Passavant Auxiliary Earns IHA Award
Left to right, Harry Schmidt, President and CEO, present the 2016 Healthcare Advocacy Award to Beth Giebelhausen and Kathy Stafford, chair and co-chair of the Passavant Area Hospital Auxiliary’s Health Advocacy committee. The Passavant Auxiliary is one of only 19 hospitals in Illinois to receive this award for their support, participation, and accomplishments as members of the Illinois Hospital Association.
Auxiliary Presents Second Payment for Stress Echo
Left to right, Debbie Bailey and Lisa Kluge, 2016 Passavant Area Hospital Auxiliary Bazaar chairs, present Harry Schmidt, President and CEO, a $50,000 check as the second payment on the Auxiliary’s $150,000 pledge for the stress echocardiography system.
Stress echocardiography is a procedure to determine how well your heart and blood vessels are working. Before the purchase of the system, patients were required to travel to Springfield for the test. With the system here at Passavant, it allows physicians to provide direct care to their patients here at Passavant.
During a stress echo, the patient’s heart rate is increased with exercise or with medication if they can’t tolerate physical exercise. While the heart rate is increased, the heart muscle works harder to supply blood to the body. The echocardiogram images and the EKG tracing recorded during the stress echo allow the physician to detect heart problems that might not be evident when the body is at rest and needing less blood. The physician then determines if the patient needs further treatment. The stress echo is beneficial for patients who are at low risk for a cardiac event or have mild coronary artery disease that present in the Emergency Department with chest pain or shortness of breath.
Foundation Provides Grant for New Program at IC
The Passavant Area Hospital Foundation is providing a $25,000 grant to assist Illinois College (IC) in developing an RN (registered nurse) to BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) completion program according to a joint announcement by Pam Martin, Executive Director of the Passavant Foundation, and Catharine O’Connell, Provost of Illinois College.
“This is a beneficial collaboration and will serve to meet the identified educational needs of nurses wishing to complete their bachelor’s degree. The Foundation is excited to support Illinois College in creating a new program,” Martin said.
The RN to BSN program will be designed to give RNs a broad educational foundation while also providing specialized nursing curriculum. The plan is for nursing courses to be offered fully online to accommodate the complicated schedules of working nurses. The liberal arts coursework comprising the remainder of the curriculum will be available either online or on IC’s campus to provide maximum flexibility. Illinois College is collaborating with Passavant Area Hospital and will begin working on the program this spring. The College will hire a program developer and name a planning team. The accreditation process will then begin, as well as the process of designing curriculum, organizing program logistics and identifying faculty. The goal is to enroll students for an August 2018 start date.
According to O’Connell, “there is a need for well-prepared practitioners in multiple health fields in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas, especially for students with a strong affinity for the communities in our region. IC has always attracted a significant number of students who wish to live and work in nearby communities, and this initiative will allow us to better serve such individuals. This program is one example of our growing focus on developing programs that meet identified educational needs and interests in the communities we serve. Illinois College greatly appreciates the support of the Passavant Area Hospital Foundation.”
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine, in its report on the future of nursing, set a 10-year goal of having 80 percent of RNs baccalaureate prepared. Currently, about 60 percent of Passavant’s registered nurses have achieved the BSN degree. “BSN nurses bring many additional skills to their patient care, such as communication, leadership, and critical thinking. Plus, BSN nurses are important to Passavant as we maintain our status as a Magnet® hospital,” said Leanna Wynn, RN, MBA, MSN, affiliate vice president nursing and quality and chief nursing officer.
Passavant Receives Saving Sight Award
Saving Sight, one of the largest eye banks in the country, recognized Passavant Area Hospital for their outstanding support of eye donation during a presentation April 10 at the hospital.
Saving Sight awards the Excellence in Eye Donation Award to its partner hospitals that achieve an eye donation consent rate exceeding 45 percent and having at least 10 patients donate eye tissue in 2016. Passavant’s consent rate was 63 percent, with 13 eye donation cases which resulted in 13 individuals receiving restored sight through a cornea transplant. Less than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s referral partners receive this award.
With the help of partner hospitals like Passavant, Saving Sight provided corneas for more than 2,900 corneal transplant recipients in 2016. Each year, around 48,000 individuals in the United States require a corneal transplant to restore vision that has been lost due to disease, disorder or injury.
Founded in Columbia, Missouri, in 1960, Saving Sight operates several vision health programs, including KidSight, Cornea Donation, and the Eyeglass Recycling Program. Saving Sight serves more than 100,000 people worldwide with offices in Springfield, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. For more information or to learn about becoming an eye, organ and tissue donor, visit donatelife.net.
Harry Schmidt, Passavant President and CEO, right, expresses the hospital’s appreciation after receiving the Excellence in Eye Donation Award from Richard Hamilton, Partner Relations Coordinator for Saving Sight.