TIP 2 Projects

TIP-2: Integration of telerehabilitation technology with an enterprise-wide hospital information system and implementation in telestroke


Lawrence R. Wechsler, MD,
Vice President for Telemedicine and Director of UPMC Stroke Institute, Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Neurology


Large-scale implementation is key to the goal of TR adoption into the mainstream services of healthcare providers. The goal of this project is to integrate the TR systems developed by the RERC on TR into an enterprise-wide hospital information system. UPMC is an $8 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading nonprofit health systems in the U.S. (http://www.upmc.com/aboutupmc/fast-facts/). UPMC has 50,000 employees, 20 hospitals, 400 outpatient sites and doctors’ offices, and a 1.3 million-member health insurance division. UPMC is a recognized innovator in information technology having deployed an EHR across its hospitals and developed a semantic interoperability solution to unify information from multiple systems. These capabilities, which are being developed in collaboration with industry leaders like Cerner, GE, and IBM, will result in products that are commercialized nationally and abroad. The integrated EHR, called eRecord, has more than 22,000 active users, including more than 5,000 physicians employed by or affiliated with UPMC, and comprises more than 3 million unique patient records.

We plan to integrate the Infrastructure Core (VISYTER, TR Portal, secure store-and-forward technology, and mobile smartphone technologies) with the UPMC eRecord and other clinical applications. UPMC will provide technical and clinical resources for this integration effort. The result of this integration will be that the TR system will be available to most users of the UPMC enterprise information system to support TR services in all UPMC facilities. The first TR service we plan to support using this integrated system is the Tele-stroke program. This program will connect the Stroke Institute in Pittsburgh with 12 affiliated hospitals, mostly located in rural Western Pennsylvania (http://www.upmc.com/StrokeInstitute). Subsequently, we plan to implement large-scale, enterprise-wide TR services across the continuum of care.


Project Update


The UPMC IT team has helped us assess VISYTER's ease of use when deployed in enterprise setting. Over the year, the IT team has downloaded and installed several version of VISYTER, including version 1.7, and 2.1. Based this experience, we observed that VISYTER is easier to deploy in the enterprise setting when compared to third party videoconferencing system (Polycom). However, VISYTER was not used regularly due to the enterprise policy within UPMC. In addition, UPMC is starting to test different desktop based videoconferencing system as an alternative to their corporate level videoconferencing systems.

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Journal of Telerehabilitation


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TeleWellness: Interactive Mobile Health and Rehabilitation



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