St. Louis’s Gateway Arch stands as the iconic monument symbolizing the westward expansion of the United States. Today, it might stand for the nationwide expansion of telemedicine for St. Louis-based Mercy, which is currently in the process of building a $90 million virtual care center along with a new specialty hospital and corporate offices.
At the core of Mercy’s vision for telemedicine is Mercy telehealth services in the Center for Innovative Care. We recently had the pleasure at being introduced to some of Mercy’s telemedicine leadership through a tour of Mercy’s SafeWatch TeleICU, an ambitious implementation across the Mercy healthcare system that connects 10 hospitals and 350 monitored ICU beds. Recognized as the nation’s largest single-hub electronic ICU program, Mercy is demonstrating to the world that telemedicine can and does save lives, lowers costs and improves how we deliver care today.
What impressed us most was that the speed by which the SafeWatch program was implemented, with the majority of the center being up and running in just 12 months and fully operational in 18! Now Mercy’s telehealth program is expanding beyond far beyond SafeWatch, under executive director Wendy Deibert’s leadership, and has expanded to over 75 telemedicine projects that span across the care continuum.