Technology continues to change the practice of medicine, as doctors continuously look for better ways to treat people. Thanks to advancements such as telemedicine, you can now access medical services or information that might not normally be available. Telemedicine, also referred to as telehealth, allows health care professionals to use electronic communications to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely and gives patients quick, efficient and convenient access to medical expertise. While it has been around for over 40 years, telemedicine is a rapidly growing field.
Physicians at Crisp Regional use telemedicine to consult with specialists at other facilities for the best treatment options and/or the need to transfer patients for a higher level of care. Diagnostic images, test results and your medical history can be shared with the consulting physician for diagnosis and/or development of a treatment plan.
Telemedicine at Crisp Regional links our physicians in the Emergency Department and other specialties to tertiary care facilities such as Navicent Health in Macon or Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Our patients and staff benefit from agreements between Crisp Regional and these facilities that provide more complex care in order to expedite treatment locally and/or refer a patient for additional services in an expedient manner. Our state-of-the-art technology also allows physicians at other hospitals to view medical images while maintaining patient confidentiality.
Telemedicine offers four fundamental benefits:
- Improved Access – Given the provider shortages in both rural and urban areas, telemedicine has a unique capacity to increase service to millions of new patients.
- Cost Efficiencies – Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of health care and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer or shorter hospital stays.
- Improved Quality – Studies have consistently shown that the quality of health care services delivered via telemedicine are as good those given in traditional in-person consultations.
- Patient Demand – Consumers want telemedicine. Using telemedicine technologies reduces travel time and related stresses for the patient. Such services provide access to providers that might not be available otherwise, as well as medical services without the need to travel long distances.
Telemedicine is considered a regular healthcare service. In most cases, it should be billable to your healthcare insurance without issue.