North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System

At a Glance

  • Automatically create live and on-demand Webcasts
  • Provided centralized, online, access to Webcasts
  • Enabled centralized search
  • Expanded training opportunities
  • Shared lectures facilitated collaboration

Large New York health system utilizes video communications to teach current healthcare practices to caretakers of over 5 million people

Video communications gives Long Island healthcare system the ability to keep it’s thousands of care practitioners up-to-date on current medical practices and procedures.


The North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System is the nation’s third-largest, non-profit secular healthcare system and 16th largest healthcare network. Based in Great Neck, N.Y, North Shore – LIJ serves 5.2 million people in Long Island, Queens, and Staten Island through 15 hospitals, hospice, and home care services; a major medical research institute; and many other health related facilities. It is Long Island’s largest employer, with more than 37,000 employees including more than 8,000 physicians and 10,500 nurses and 12,000 medical residents. As a non-profit facility devoted to delivering the utmost in medical services to the community, North Shore – LIJ has been a leader in using technology to maintain its top standards for care and its charter to operational efficiency and economy.


With an ever-increasing range of regulatory, OSHA, public health, and medical training demands—and a cap on the number of hours staffers can work—Dennis Skahill, Director of the North Shore – LIJ Studios, was struggling to meet growing demand to train and certify its healthcare professionals in order to keep up with an avalanche of state and federal programs, first responders as well as state and national health and safety requirements. Additionally, the geographic disparity of the facilities was straining the ability for physicians to fulfill their weekly Grand Rounds teaching commitments. The Grand Rounds system is a way for renowned specialists in practice areas, such as Medicine, Surgery, OBS/GYN, Psychology, and Pediatrics, to lecture at teaching and tertiary hospitals located, in the case of North Shore – LIJ, throughout Long Island, Queens, and Staten Island. In any given week, physicians are expected to present the same exact information at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, North Shore University Hospital, and Staten Island University Hospital—a time-consuming task that keeps them from practicing and one that offers no assurances that other time-pressed healthcare professionals can attend.

Staff Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements were another driver for an interactive, on-line system that could enable medical staff to meet state and national certification requirements.

Whether for nursing, pharmaceutical or other CME programs, Skahill soon realized North Shore– LIJ could only meet these demands with a solution that would not only enable rapid creation and delivery of high-quality online training materials, but also provide the ability to test and certify employees and provide an auditable compliance record. An archived, online communications system would also enable North Shore – LIJ to time- and place-shift its international collaboration programs, enabling medical experts in other countries—such as Israel and Europe—to participate in medical education regardless of time zone, hours of operation, or cultural differences.


Skahill began to explore Webcasting as a way to capture valuable teaching information and make it available to time-pressed staffers to review after hours. They looked to Polycom to provide not only an automated solution for capturing training and educational content, but also for a media management and search platform that would enable them to maintain a secure, auditable record of staff training sessions. The Polycom solution would enable them to capture audio and video from any presentation or training session and instantly publish it as a synchronized online presentation to be viewed live or on-demand online.

“We are really impressed with how easy it is to use the Polycom solution and to be able to offer this invaluable resource for a very cost-effective price. It enables us to create these materials on our own—a huge cost savings over outsourced presentation production, which can cost as much as $15,000 for a one-hour fire safety training session,” Skahill said.

The Polycom solution provided the added benefit of being able to convert video conferencing sessions from more than 20 integrated units located throughout the health system and instantly create an online archive of these events for easy online search and retrieval.


Since deploying the Polycom solution at the Monter Cancer Center, the Rust Auditorium, and at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, the prognosis for live and on-demand Webcasting as a way to solve North Shore –LIJ’s training and certification challenges is excellent.

Proficiency with the Polycom solution also has led to additional applications, such as developing online training sessions to help North Shore– LIJ trustees learn about the financial, legal, community service and corporate compliance issues they must understand to meet the fiduciary responsibilities of the non-profit organization. Rather than trying to schedule live sessions during the week, North Shore – LIJ senior executives now record training sessions in the studio and upload the on-demand presentations for trustees to view at their convenience.

“Since we first planned our smart auditoriums, the price of Webcasting has been reduced significantly so that we now plan to outfit all our major venues, so that we can always preserve and provide online access to all Grand Rounds, educational and special events for medical personnel and staffers to access on their own time.”

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