OARnet, Nationwide Children's project honored for its innovation

Aug 17, 2009

Columbus, Ohio (August 17, 2009) - The Ohio Academic Resources Network and Nationwide Children’s Hospital Division of Neonatology recently received a Health Care Heroes Honorable Mention in Innovation Award for its high-definition telemedicine project from Columbus Business First.

The business journal’s annual awards program honors those who have made an impact on health care in the community through their concern for patients, research and inventions, management skills, innovative programs for employees and service to the poor and uninsured.

In an effort to increase telehealth benefits and better assist medical facilities in rural areas, Nationwide Children’s Hospital worked with OARnet to launch a videoconferencing service between the Columbus-based hospital and Chillicothe’s Adena Regional Medical Center. The resulting innovation provides a greatly improved collaborative environment for rural pediatricians to consult with specialists.

Prior to telemedicine, physicians relayed information by telephone, which was subject to interpretation. Now specialists can make more thorough evaluations of distressed babies with the visual capabilities of high-definition videoconferencing and better determine if the babies need to be transferred to Columbus. Since its implementation, the number of neonatal transports from Adena Regional, which cost thousands of dollars for each trip, has been reduced to half, and these children can stay with family and avoid the unnecessary stress of being moved.

An independent panel of health-care professionals selected by Columbus Business First evaluated nominations.

The Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) was established by the Ohio Board of Regents in 1987 to provide researchers with access to the computational resources of the Ohio Supercomputer Center. Today, OARnet provides Ohio’s colleges and universities and their research partners with an integrated technology infrastructure that includes unrivaled intrastate network connectivity and shared services. OARnet specializes in providing custom solutions, whether providing virtualization resources, spanning the globe by videoconference or providing 24/7 network support. For more information, visit http://www.oar.net.