Giving Compass’ Take:
· As hospital systems increase their use of technology for service, David Reich-Hale at Newsday explains how telehealth has expanded access to healthcare through phones, tablets and computers.
· How can this technology help in times where hospitals cannot be reached? How has this advancement expanded access to healthcare?
Regional health systems are expanding what they predict will be the next frontier in treatment: telemedicine, a form of remote care where doctors interact with patients via a phone, tablet or other devices with a camera.
Remote visits can range from having a physician check a sore throat with a flashlight on a patient’s smartphone, to routine post-operation checkups, where a doctor directs a subject to push parts of their body and asks for feedback on pain levels.
Telemedicine also often entails emergency care, where doctors at a central station assist nurses and staff at other facilities with stroke, psychiatric and intensive care patients via high-definition monitors and cameras, speeding diagnosis in fields where either specialists are in short supply, or time is critical to a better outcome. Often the doctor is “wheeled in” on a wired table at a patient’s bedside.
Investments in telemedicine are being used to launch remote urgent-care services, in which doctors remotely examine patients who don’t want to wait for an appointment when they don’t feel well, and make follow-up appointments less time-consuming.
Area hospitals are also expanding their remote stroke care networks, since studies have shown that getting the proper help 15 minutes faster can make the difference in whether a patient will be able to move and talk again.
Health systems such as Northwell Health and Catholic Health Services are also pushing deeper into remote psychiatric services, because local and national shortages of psychiatrists have made it difficult to staff emergency rooms around the clock.
Read the full article about the use of telehealth by David Reich-Hale at Newsday.
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