Like most small hospitals, Flaget Memorial in Bardstown, Kentucky has doctors who care for patients during the day that would also take calls at night. When the patient needed a doctor at night, a nurse would contact the doctor by telephone for consultations and, if necessary, the doctor would go right back to the hospital after dark to care for the patient. This process was not perfect but the best solution because hiring a full-time doctor in the hospital for night coverage wasn’t efficient or affordable.
However, the expansion of inpatient telehealth services has given the doctors at Flaget Memorial an opportunity to rest easy at night. Eagle Telemedicine now provides night-time TeleHospitalist coverage. As one young patient said:
I was walking up the hallways from my station in surgery and I met this robot coming down the hall and spoke to me and called me by name. I wanted to know what was going on. When the TeleHospitalist came into the room she said ‘Oh I remember you, I checked you in’. I immediately bonded with that doctor. – Ray Young, Patient