“By working with physicians from across the globe, we’re creating a new vision of rural care."
-- Dr Gude, OSC Founder and CMO.
Sebastopol, CA (PRWEB) December 08, 2011
OffSiteCare, Inc. (OSC), a leading provider of telemedicine services to rural hospitals, has opened a central hub in San Francisco to provide nighttime hospitalist and specialist consultations to seven Northern California hospitals. OSC is leveling the healthcare playing field by using breakthrough telemedicine strategies to extend high-acuity care to rural hospitals from major medical facilities.
“By providing medical consultations and care from our hub in San Francisco, we’ve created a cost-effective model that will give rural hospitals access to key medical services that used to be beyond their physical and economic reach,” Dr. Jim Gude, founder of OSC, reports. “Patient admissions are lower at night, and the new system enables one physician to cover up to three hospitals. For the first time, there’s an economically viable way to provide high-acuity healthcare to patients at hospitals in rural areas.”
OSC also provides access to specialists for emergency room consultations in the areas of acute stroke intervention, adult and pediatric critical care, infectious disease management, urology, and others. Coverage can either be provided 24/7, only at night, or offered on a per-incident basis. This innovative approach offers significant cost savings to rural hospitals when compared to on-call stipends paid for onsite or call-based 24-hour physician availability.
Dr. Gude continued, “Telemedicine provides a proven alternative for delivering coverage when onsite physicians are not available, and it’s quickly becoming the preferred solution for hospitals that need nighttime hospitalist coverage.” OSC currently provides high-acuity medical services via telemedicine to seven Northern California hospitals: Howard Memorial, Willits; St Helena Clearlake; Mendocino Coast Hospital, Fort Bragg; Healdsburg District Hospital; Redwood Memorial, Fortuna; Ukiah Valley Medical Center; and Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol.
A leader in educational innovation, OSC offers telemedicine-based Grand Rounds that provides CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits for physicians and nurses at remote sites. A professor of medicine at UCSF, Dr. Gude leads a lively and interactive discussion which is concluded by a poem. Sessions are attended by personnel from member hospitals and have recently expanded to an international audience, including Haiti and Africa. Dr. Gude remarked, “By working with physicians from across the globe, we’re creating a new vision of rural care. Each week we discuss an actual case from one of our member sites, and my feeling is that these are the best sessions I have ever been involved with.”
In addition to its domestic medical staff, OSC currently contracts with a physician who recently emigrated to Israel from California. Using Internet-based telemedicine equipment, Dr. Richard Lapin uses the international time change to his advantage to cover night shifts during the day. “It’s a great approach because I can provide night coverage when I’m fresh and ready to go.” Participating OSC client hospitals have embraced the program with great enthusiasm and additional physicians with California licenses are being sought to work in Israel. Dr. Lapin is rapidly becoming a remote presence fixture in rural California hospitals, and receives calls for assistance even when he is not scheduled.
Founded in 2007, OffSiteCare (OSC) is a privately held for profit corporation whose mission is to increase the acuity and improve the financial stability of rural hospitals through telemedicine. OffSiteCare is transforming rural healthcare by using cost-effective and innovative telemedicine solutions to deliver high-acuity medical care. Whether a facility needs hospitalist services, ICU solutions, ER consults, or access to specialists, OffSiteCare provides solutions that can increase both the standard of care and overall profitability. Visit our website at http://www.offsitecare.com.
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