Lessons from the Louisiana State University Telemedicine Program

This paper describes the Telemedicine Expansion project for the Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division (HCSD). The project offers a model for a large scale, multi-hospital, serving the needs of a dispersed patient population. The project identified the necessary activities for the areas of telemedicine concern during a disaster. The core elements of this project and plan were put to work when the LSU Hospital System made significant use of videoconferencing technology during the preparation and response actions associated with Hurricane Gustav, three years after Hurricane Katrina. During periods of failing phone service, unreliable cellular coverage, and LAN systems off-line, the videoconferencing systems deployed served to support the communications needs of the LSU hospital enterprise.

As a result of the Katrina impacts to HCSD operations, there has been a significant change in the way specialty care is delivered to the patient base in preparation for another natural disaster such. The project identified the necessary activities for the areas of concern can be divided into three categories for HCSD hospitals: 1) remain in operation, 2) rescue and evacuation, and 3) redistribution and resumption of services. The project plan was tested with Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The core elements of this project and plan were put to work when the LSU Hospital System made significant use of videoconferencing technology during the preparation and response actions associated with Hurricane Gustav, three years after Hurricane Katrina. During periods of failing phone service, unreliable cellular coverage, and LAN systems off-line, the videoconferencing systems deployed as a part of the recovery to Katrina and Rita served to support the communications needs of the LSU hospital enterprise.


Winchell, T. (2010) Lessons from the Louisiana State University Telemedicine Program, Anthology of Abstracts of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

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