October 23, 2012

Regional fiber-optic telemedicine project nears completion

PLATTSBURGH — The Adirondack-Champlain Telemedicine Information Network, connecting eight hospitals and 40 primary-care facilities, is expected to be operational by late November.

The fiber-optic telemedicine network, in the works for several years, will cover Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Rensselaer, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties, as well as the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Health Services facility and Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Nearly $9 million in grant funds has paid for the project, CVPH Medical Center President and CEO Stephens Mundy said at a press conference Monday morning. The four-year contract with the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program is administered by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York.

The initiative worked with the Development Authority of the North Country and will use multiple service providers, including ION, Westelcom, PrimeLink, Tech Valley Communications and SLIC Network Solutions, to link the various partners.

Joel Benware, chief information officer at Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, said future generations will benefit from the high-speed connectivity the network will allow.

”This collaborative effort has been years in the making,” he said.

The fiber-optic network will make it quicker and easier to share medical data files, which are often extremely large. As a dedicated network, it will cut down on the need for extreme encryption measures needed to provide security.

Dan Davis of the Fletcher Allen Information Technology Department said the network allows for a 1,000-fold improvement in data transmission among all the medical facilities in the North Country. The ability to rapidly share records should reduce costs caused by the frequent duplication of testing.


Massena Memorial Hospital Senior Director of Public Relations and Planning Tina Corcoran said the network allows for a greater continuity of health care throughout the North Country.

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