Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton and UAB Announce Telemedicine Partnership

June 1, 2022
Clanton, Ala.-based Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton announced a new partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medicine—the partnership will bring a tele-critical care unit and tele-stroke unit to the residents of Chilton County

On May 31, Clanton, Ala.-based Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton announced its partnership via a press release with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medicine. The partnership will bring a tele-critical care unit and tele-stroke unit to the residents of Chilton County. The new initiatives will allow patients to receive care closer to their homes without compromising the quality of care they receive.

The release states that “The remote consultation sessions will take place from an operations center located at UAB Hospital. From the operations center, UAB specialists will connect via video into hospital rooms to conduct remote exams of patients and work with Ascension St. Vincent’s care teams to develop a treatment plan.”

That said, “The tele-critical care program will support Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton hospitalists by allowing them to easily consult with intensivists at UAB. The UAB tele-critical care staff will review the patient’s medical records, conduct a virtual consult through state-of-the-art technology, and speak with and assess the patient. After the consult, they will work with the care team at Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton to review the assessment and provide any treatment recommendations. UAB will continue to monitor the patient each day as needed while they remain in Ascension St. Vincent’s care.”

If a patient goes to Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton emergency department presenting symptoms of a stroke, the team will use the tele-stroke program to request an “on-demand stroke consult.” Then, one of UAB’s neurologists will assess the patient with the help of an on-site emergency room physician or nurse. The neurologist will review the patient’s scans and provide a recommendation. Ascension St. Vincent’s will then provide inpatient care in the hospital or, if needed, transfer the patient.

According to the release, access to healthcare is limited in many of Alabama’s rural counties. Telemedicine programs can facilitate subspecialty care at rural sites and lead to an increase in access to care in rural areas. Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton is one of 10 hospitals that have joined AUB’s tele-critical care program and one of 20 hospitals that have joined the tele-stroke program.

Sean Vanlandingham, M.D., chief medical officer, Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton was quoted in the release saying that “The tele-ICU program provides an extremely valuable service to our local community. We are able to bring the specialized knowledge of UAB critical care specialists to the bedside, providing the highest-quality care for critically ill patients.”

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