How St. Joseph’s Health docs offer cardiac care to RMH patients
ROME, N.Y. — The Cardiovascular Institute at Rome Memorial Hospital (RMH) is using “Bluetooth stethoscope” technology, which allows doctors to hear and see a patient’s heartbeat “without physically being there.”
Rome Memorial Hospital (RMH) and St. Joseph’s Health say they’re deploying the technology and working together to “offer patients in rural areas access to cardiac care.”
“This technology is the first of its kind in the region,” Dr. Russell Silverman, medical director of the St. Joseph’s Health Heart Failure Clinic and chief medical officer at RMH, said in a statement. “It enables us to bring high quality heart care to areas that might otherwise not be served by these types of subspecialties.”
RMH has an affiliation agreement with St. Joseph’s Health.
During a consultation, the patient at RMH is accompanied by a nurse or respiratory therapist (RT). They connect via computer to the cardiologist in Syracuse. The cardiologist speaks with the patient to assess how he/she is feeling. Then, the nurse or RT moves the Bluetooth stethoscope to different parts of the patient’s chest and neck so the physician can hear and see the individual’s heart activity.
“Our goal is to use this remarkable technology to keep patients close to home,” said Silverman. “By treating their heart issues using the Bluetooth stethoscope, we hope to avoid transferring them out of town to St. Joseph’s Health Hospital if they don’t need tertiary care. They can stay close to their loved ones, which is what we strive for.”
St. Joseph’s Health and RMH say they are the only hospitals in the region using this technology. Silverman says the increase of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic helped to “progress the program and make it a reality.”
RMH is currently using the Bluetooth stethoscope for inpatient and emergency-room consultations, per St. Joseph’s Health.