Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Expands Telemedicine Capabilities

Unique telemedicine options at Ochsner LSU Health protect healthcare workers in the hospital and provide around the clock access to a physician from home.

In addition to its virtual visits for outpatient needs, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport has expanded its telemedicine capabilities inside the hospital. To reduce healthcare workers’ exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases while maintaining high-quality care to patients, Ochsner LSU Health has deployed iPads inside the hospital for the patient care teams, including the intensive care unit and emergency room environment.

“Telemedicine brings the Intensivist to the critically ill patient’s bedside no matter where that patient is hospitalized. By providing standard of care critical care medicine, healthcare providers at any institution can stabilize and care for their patients closer to home without the need for transferring to a hospital hours away,” explained Dr. Laurie Grier, Chief Quality Officer and critical care specialist at Ochsner LSU Health. “In addition, in this time of crisis, telemedicine allows physicians in their own institution to communicate with the patient without repeatedly entering the room. Thus saving unnecessary exposure to infectious disease processes as well as PPE.”

Ochsner LSU Health’s TeleICU program, which began in March 2019 allowing Shreveport intensive care and specialty physicians to virtually round on Monroe Medical Center patients, is now being used inside the Shreveport hospital to further protect its critical care specialists and other multidisciplinary teams providing care to ICU patients.

In 2019, Ochsner LSU Health also launched the AvaSys TeleSitter Solution that includes a two-way camera and speaker, proven to increase patient safety.

“Reducing the number of times people enter the patient rooms, decreases exposure of infectious disease. Obviously, we are especially sensitive to COVID-19 right now. Keeping our healthcare workers healthy is not only the right thing to do, but it is vital to making sure we can take care of our patients,” says Dr. Mike Sewell, Chief of Hospital Medicine at Ochsner LSU Health.

For outpatient visits, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport currently provides patients with virtual visits with physicians through its MyChart app that is directly tied to the patient’s electronic health record. Patients can sign up for MyChart or download the app from my.ochsner.org/LSUHealth, or call 318-626-0500.

For urgent care visits and those who do not currently have a primary care physician, Ochsner LSU Health offers Anywhere Care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at a cost $10 or less. The Anywhere Care virtual visit is open to new patients and may be conducted through the app on a smart device or on its website at ochsnerlsuhs.org/anywhere.

Leading the area in telemedicine capabilities, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is also the only North Louisiana health system offering telemedicine stroke care for patients in other facilities through TeleStroke. The health system also offers virtual visits for psychiatry through its TelePsychiatry program.