L&M Hospital receives federal grant for telemedicine carts to treat, screen COVID-19 patients

New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– These days telehealth technology is used for virtual doctor visits. Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London is using the tool for screening and treating Covid-19 patients.

Dr. Craig Mittleman holds up an iPad to show Senator Richard Blumenthal one way telemedicine technology works at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London.  On the screen you can see a nurse who is in a hospital room with a telemedicine cart.

“The patient does nothing. It just comes up, and then they can see me and hear me talking to them,” explained emergency department physician, Dr. Kevin Torres.

Doctors showed Senator Richard Blumenthal, (D) Connecticut how the telehealth technology works. A $384,000 dollar federal grant through the CARES Act is being used to support telemedicine within the hospital and for outpatient visits.

“We know that telemedicine can reach communities and homes that otherwise might find health access difficult,” said Sen. Blumenthal. 

Each of the telemedicine carts costs about $5,000, and the ones used in the ICU which have a movable camera so the doctor can see different parts of the patient are upwards of $25,000. So the federal money will come in handy.

“Zoom in and out, move the camera around, look at different aspects of the patient that we need to,” said Dr. Torres.

“This telehealth technology has allowed us to see over 3,300 telemedicine encounters,” said hospital president, Patrick Green.

This technology saves time and saves on PPE some of which has to be thrown out after each use.

“The nurse is able to check on them a lot more frequently as opposed to having to get all dressed in the garb, the masks, their special masks that go on, the special head covering, foot coverings gowns and we’re trying to conserve all the use of that,” said Dr. Torres.

It may also help save lives. 

“If you’re limiting the number of interactions you have, you’re limiting the ability of a spread of a virus so it definitely could be a lifesaver,” said Dr. Torres.

A lifesaver during this pandemic doctors say and beyond.

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