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Technology in medicine: Good Samaritan Society offers unique medical resource

It’s a changing world. Technology has allowed us to bridge the challenge of location in many different ways — facetiming with grandchildren who live states away; skyping with colleagues rather than actually being at the office and now visiting a doctor without leaving home.

Good Samaritan Society-Lennox has recently added this medical resource. Christine Boyum, Director of Nursing said the new system went live on October 12. The two-way, audiovisual telemedicine technology is provided thorough a partnership with Avera eLongTermCare (eLTC). The machine, cleverly named Johnny Five by the staff, sits in the nurses office. Johnny Five was the name of a robot in the 1980’s movie, Short Circuit. Boyum said the staff held a contest and voted to name the newest addition to their staff.

Johnny Five is a television equipped with earphones to hear lung and heart sounds, and a two way camera. Boyum explained that if a resident needs to be seen by a doctor, a Good Samaritan Society nurse brings Johnny Five to their room and the nurse calls in to Avera. The call goes to the eLTC hub. Then the patient and doctor are connected. The patient can see the doctor on the screen, the doctor can see the patient. eLTC providers can order medications, IV fluids, lab work, and imaging studies.

eLTC is a part of Avera eCARE, which is a “virtual health center” in Sioux Falls that is staffed around the clock by physicians, advanced practice providers and registered nurses. In addition, eLTC has geriatric specialized physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and behavioral health specialists.

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