For the new year, The North Shore-LIJ Health System is offering both new programs and new centers to assist patients in various needs of care, from critical care to epilepsy seizures to programs dealing with heart and spine issues.
At the top of the new innovations is the eICU program for critical care, one that provides ICU bedside teams with 24/7 remote specialist support. This program was rolled out initially at Franklin and Southside hospitals in December. Additional ICUs will be added this year.
In a recent study of 118,990 critical care patients over a five-year period, compared to those receiving usual ICU care, patients who received their ICU care from a hospital that utilized the eICU program were:
• 26 percent more likely to survive the ICU;
• discharged from the ICU 20 percent faster;
• 16 percent more likely to survive hospitalization and be discharged;
• and discharged from the hospital 15 percent faster.
The eICU program is a comprehensive technology and clinical reengineering program that enables health care professionals at North Shore-LIJ’s Center for Emergency Medical Services telehealth center in Syosset to support the bedside staff to provide around-the-clock care for critically ill patients. The eICU program utilizes bi-directional audio/video technology, population management tools, clinical decision support, real-time and retrospective reporting tools and targeted process redesign. A high-resolution camera located in the patient room, along with a video monitor showing the remote clinicians, provides two-way video communications. There are also a microphone and speaker in the room to allow direct conversation between the eICU team, the bedside care providers and the patient or family.
Because an intensivist or other bedside ICU staff member can only be in one place at a time, the eICU team can also help the staff in the hospital to keep watch over the entire population of critical care patients. The program’s telehealth center is staffed by dedicated critical care nurses, intensivists and support associates, as well as a medical director and operations director.
New Device to Treat Epileptic Seizures
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center at North Shore-LIJ’s Cushing Neuroscience Institute is one of the first on Long Island to use a new, implantable device to detect abnormal electrical activity in the brain and then uses electrical stimulation to normalize brain activity before the patient experiences seizures.
The procedure using NeuroPace, which is a responsive neurostimulator (RNS), was recently performed at North Shore University Hospital, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, on Angela Dejesus of Fresh Meadows.
“This new technology is beneficial to patients who have intractable epilepsy and have seizures coming from one or two areas of the brain where resection surgery is not an option due to risk of losing memory or other vital neurologic functions,” said Cynthia L. Harden, MD, North Shore-LIJ’s chief, division of epilepsy and electroencephalography.
The NeuroPace RNS is a programmable, battery-powered, microprocessor-controlled device that delivers a short train of electrical pulses to the brain through implanted leads. The neurostimulator is implanted in the cranium and connected to one or two leads that are implanted near the patient’s seizure focus.
The NeuroPace RNS device is programmed to respond to a seizure discharge detected by the electrodes placed in the brain. Immediately after the device is implanted, it is set to record brain activity for approximately one month.
A few days after the implant surgery, Dejesus was discharged and sent home with a wand-like detector that once a day she will wave over the spot where the NeuroPace implant was inserted. This detector records the signals from the brain, pinpointing the seizure-producing areas and then stores this information on a laptop computer. The purpose of the initial recording allows the epilepsy doctor to review the recorded information and determine which specific brain activity leads to a seizure. The recorded information allows North Shore-LIJ’s neurology team to accurately detect where the seizures are coming from and how much electrical stimulation will be needed to prevent the seizures from progressing.
After this initial one-month period of recording brain activity, the device is turned on by North Shore-LIJ’s neurology team and is programmed to discharge electrical stimulation when the specific seizure activity
occurs and thereby electrically stopping the seizure occurrence.
Endovascular and Vascular Program
Patients who require dialysis access maintenance and repair; diagnosis and treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD); placement and maintenance of chemotherapy ports; and treatment for venous diseases including varicose veins can now receive this care as outpatients at the North Shore-LIJ Medical Group Endovascular and Vascular Access Program in Lake Success.
The practice, located at 1999 Marcus Ave., has a collective 80 years of experience and uses board-certified anesthesiologists for all of its procedures.
The North Shore-LIJ Medical Group Endovascular and Vascular Access Program has four dedicated physicians in addition to the North Shore-LIJ anesthesiologists, interventional radiologists and other physicians the practice partners with. Patients using this outpatient facility also benefit from being near LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset if they require care at those facilities.
The practice is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, call 516-233-3777.
New Spine Center
The North Shore-LIJ Health System is opening a new Spine Center this year. Patients with back ailments ranging from a minor strain to those requiring surgery can seek care at the Spine Center, which will include 10 physicians from the specialty areas of neurosurgery, orthopedics and physiatry. The group will also work closely with neurologists, rheumatologists, imaging specialists, physical therapists and psychologists to more completely treat a patient’s spinal disorder, while keeping patients informed and educated about the multiple treatment options available to them.
The Spine Center will be led by Jason Lipetz, MD, division chief of spine medicine, who is a physiatrist and nonsurgical spine specialist working in partnership with the health system.
“Because spinal care can encompass so many different disciplines, it can mean people are sent to multiple healthcare providers before a diagnosis is even established. With the North Shore-LIJ Spine Center, patients can find one-stop shopping for their comprehensive spinal care,” Lipetz said.
The Spine Center has several convenient locations throughout Long Island and offers quick access to its physicians, usually within 24 hours.
For more information, call the dedicated patient care coordinator at 844-88-SPINE or visit www.nslij.com/spine.