Telemedicine has been used across the world to help doctors see patients who need specialized care but are miles away from those specialists. Since 2016, Med Center Health is using that same technology to make Infectious Disease specialists available all across our region.
Telemedicine offers patients the convenience of talking “face-to-face” with their doctor while remaining in their hospital where Infectious Disease specialists are not available on site. The physician has access to the patient’s records, laboratory reports, X-rays, medications and medical history during the visit. Patients may also stay at home by using a computer or an app on their phone or tablet to complete an office visit that does not require examination. The technology is used for consultations at outlying hospitals and follow-up appointments so patients can let their doctor know how they are doing, discuss symptoms, refine treatment, or get answers to questions. This is especially important for patients who have difficulty traveling.
Through the secure connection via a camera on the computer or device, doctors are able to see their patients, visually examine skin, eyes, throat, wounds or other visible sites such as rashes and inflammation. In this way, a continued relationship with the specialists can be done even in underserved areas that otherwise would not allow follow-up. Patients are encouraged to be seen in person at some point during their care episode whenever possible.
Because of telemedicine and virtual visits, Med Center Health Infectious Disease & Travel Medicine Specialists are able to reach people who need care, as well as hospitals that need support, where they otherwise cannot get it.