Basically, Telemedicine allows patients to visit with physicians live over video for immediate care or capture video/still images and patient data are stored and sent to physicians for diagnosis and follow-up treatment at a later time. Whether you live in the center of Los Angeles or deep in the Brazilian Amazon, Telemedicine is an invaluable tool in Healthcare.
Patients that routinely travel to visit doctors in large urban areas tend to purchase their goods and services from those cities, Telemedicine keeps those dollars local.
Here’s an example of how Telemedicine works every day. Say you have a horrible sore throat and visit your healthcare provider (could be a general practice physician, nurse practitioner, or unlicensed health worker in a village depending where you live), who does an examination and is concerned with what he sees. Your provider recommends a referral to an ENT specialist for a follow up diagnosis and treatment plan. Well, instead of traveling to the nearest specialist, which depending where you live could be anywhere from a 45-minute drive or an 18-hour boat ride up the Amazon River, your provider connects you directly to the ENT specialist via Telemedicine.
This is the most common use in Telemedicine. Like the example above, live video allows the provider, patient and specialist to all communicate together to achieve the best outcome for the patient.
Telehealth is providing specialty medical consultation and treatment when the healthcare provider is unable to be on site. Telehealth visits are provided by high-definition videoconferencing equipment.
By offering Telehealth services, we are able to provide needed specialty healthcare that previously was unavailable in the Kern RiverValley. We are also able to offer local services to patients that were previously unable to obtain specialty medical care due to their insurance class.
When you come to the Rural Health Clinic for your Telehealth visit you will sign in as if it were a traditional visit. We will ask you to sign a special consent authorizing your visit through Telehealth videoconferencing. You will be escorted to one of our Telehealth rooms by our staff. You will be able to see and speak with the Telehealth provider on a high-definition television screen. During some visits our Telehealth coordinator may be in the room with you during the examination. There is always a possibility that there may be interference on the line. It is rare that we experience this type of interference but it may cause some temporary static or “pixilation”. This is usually temporary and is restored spontaneously. If the interference is severe or if there is a connection lost please ask to speak to the Telehealth coordinator.