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Collaborative consultations

A pilot project at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, involving collaborative software for the healthcare industry, enabled physicians to consult online regarding medical diagnoses regardless of where they were located. The project linked heart surgeons and other specialists at the hospital with requesting doctors from Morristown Hospital and Medical Center in Morristown, NJ; InterMED Medical Center in Istanbul, Turkey; and Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The pilot, which began in November 2002 and ended in late 2003, involved use of vConsult technology from Collaborative Medical Technology Corporation.

"The technology can potentially enhance hospital revenue by expanding its medical expertise into new and international markets," says David Liss, VP, Government Relations & Strategic Initiatives, New York-Presbyterian. "Moreover, as New York-Presbyterian moves toward a more collaborative environment, software technologies can help achieve that goal. For instance, vConsult can be used domestically to facilitate and improve intra-hospital communication between our 53-member hospital network."

CMTC says it worked with New York-Presbyterian to create an expert directory of physicians who participated in the pilot and who would be available for online consultation and referrals. Relevant medical and administrative data were collected and registered into the system's physician database. Additionally, physician profiles were categorized and cross-referenced with other organizational products and service offerings.

"The technology allowed our department to more easily reach beyond the walls of this institution, responding to inquiries from around the world about our latest surgical advances and research innovations," says Dr. Eric Rose, surgeon in chief, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "By streamlining communication, [the solution] lets us spend more time on the details of the case and less time on logistics."

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