LODI – Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital recently established a secure telehealth connection with critical care specialists at UC Davis Health in Sacramento to help its physicians in the intensive care unit deal with the needs of a significant number of patients with COVID-19.


With 17 ICU beds in use, 12 of those beds were occupied by seriously ill COVID-positive patients as of Wednesday, according to the latest status report by San Joaquin County’s Emergency Medical Services Agency. At the same time, more than a third of the community hospital’s beds – 36 out of 100 in use – were occupied by COVID-positive patients.


With the new telehealth connection, clinicians in Lodi can communicate easily with pulmonologists and critical care physicians at UC Davis Health who are available around the clock for rapid consultations.


Known as tele-ICU, the new service allows Adventist Health Lodi Memorial to meet more patient care needs by safely increasing its overall hospital capacity, according to a hospital statement.


"We’re grateful for this partnership for our team, patients and county. Our health care heroes have been working tirelessly to care for our community, and it’s wonderful to be able to expand our capacity with UC Davis Health providers through virtual care," hospital medical officer Patricia Iris said.


Because UC Davis has extensive experience offering telehealth services, its technology team was able to establish the new tele-ICU connection in record time, according to Christian Sandrock, director of critical care at UC Davis Health, noting that not just Lodi but all of San Joaquin County has been "impacted greatly" by the pandemic.


The two health systems described their collaboration as "a strong example of hospitals working together to respond to and treat COVID-19 patients as positive cases rise throughout the state." Prior to the new tele-ICU service, the two systems had an established relationship with telehealth for Lodi’s Level 2 neonatal ICU, neurology and emergency departments, as well as the physical presence of UC Davis Health physicians.


Contact reporter Joe Goldeen at (209) 546-8278 or jgoldeen@recordnet.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeGoldeen.