SOC Telemed (SOC), the leader in acute care telemedicine and Beauregard Health System, a rural acute hospital in DeRidder, Louisiana today announced a partnership to deliver scalable, flexible telemedicine services across five key specialties including the first SOC deployment of teleCardiology services.

By partnering with SOC, Beauregard gains access to specialists and care that might otherwise be unavailable to the rural Louisiana community. Beauregard implemented SOC’s Telemed IQ telemedicine platform to provide psychiatry, critical care, inpatient neurology, emergency neurology and most recently, cardiology via telemedicine. The teleNeurology program is staffed by SOC neurologists while their telePsychiatry, teleICU, and teleCardiology programs are staffed by existing members of Beauregard’s Medical Staff who live and operate locally or in regional city centers like Alexandria and Lake Charles.

The 49-bed not-for-profit hospital system at Beauregard is the first to utilize SOC Telemed’s platform for teleCardiology services. After the departure of the community’s sole full-time cardiologist in April 2019, Beauregard was forced to transfer an average of 30 monthly cardiology cases to other hospital systems.

“Our community was vulnerable without a full-time local cardiologist,” said Traci Thibodeaux, chief operating officer for Beauregard Health System. “We wanted to partner with a cardiology group in Lake Charles, but knew they couldn’t meet our needs for an onsite full-time physician. Luckily, we’d already deployed SOC’s platform in other hospital departments. By pairing the Telemed IQ platform with a regional cardiology group out of Lake Charles, we were able to close the care gap and improve access to cardiac care for our community.”

Dr. Raman Saharan, an internist and hospitalist at Beauregard, noted an additional benefit of acute telemedicine in their ICU during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Unlike some rural hospitals which had to close their doors due to this pandemic, we not only kept our hospital running but also were able to provide a higher level of care including transfusion of Convalescent plasma.”

With SOC Telemed in place, the hospital already reports a higher case mix index, fewer transfers and broad patient satisfaction thanks to improved access to cardiologists as well as the specialists in the other four telemedicine-enabled departments.

“Across the nation, rural hospitals struggle to staff specialists in key areas like neurology and stroke care, psychiatry and even cardiology. However Beauregard, although rural, is ahead of many other hospitals by not allowing clinical care to be constrained due to its location or the artificial walls of the hospital that existed before telemedicine,” said Jason Hallock, MD, chief medical officer for SOC Telemed. “Whether the doctors who ultimately provide the care are based in Lake Charles, New Orleans or anywhere else in the country, the SOC Telemed platform stands ready to deliver flexible solutions that connect communities in need with specialized medicine, on demand.”

Source: Company Press Release