Telemedicine: healthcare closer to home
Technology lets rural patients save on travel to remote care sites
Geography, delicate health conditions and advanced patient age can put a wall between providers and people who need healthcare most.
Through early intervention, increased access to specialty care and reduced patient and family travel, Geisinger Telemedicine moves mountains to ensure more patients can remain close to home and still receive quality care.
If an individual lives in a small town, or in an area where there are few or no subspecialists, he or she should still have access to the best care available.
- Kenneth E. Wood, DO
Geisinger Medical Center Chief Medical Oﬃcer
Telemedicine is working in our community
Our Telemedicine program started in 1996 with remote echocardiogram readings. In 2012, Geisinger provided more than 50,000 Telemedicine visits across 12 health services for 18 Geisinger clinic sites and 23 non-Geisinger health care organizations. Some of these services, include:
- eICU connects all of Geisinger’s intensive care units and several remote intensive care units to a team of critical care specialists at Geisinger Medical Center. Specialists monitor patients’ vital information and clinical status using electronic support tools and video-telemonitoring equipment, recommending timely medical care by local providers.
- TeleStroke is a certiﬁed primary stroke center and the only neurovascular intervention center in our region. Board-certiﬁed stroke specialists use video, audio and electronic monitoring technology to help physicians diagnose and treat stroke patients.
- Pediatric Cardiology offers sophisticated digital equipment to allow specialists to transmit studies to Geisinger’s specialists for interpretation, which facilitates timelier, accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.
Who benefits from Telemedicine?
- Timelier and easier access to world-class specialty care
- Earlier diagnosis and health plan decisions
- Reduced travel costs to get to specialized care
- Can stay at home for family support
- Gain quicker access to specialists for improved clinical decision-making
- Reduce unnecessary transfers
- Increase quality and efficiency
- Provide a broader level of care to the local community
- Enhance clinical staff training and education
- Reduce costs associated with acute utilization through earlier diagnosis and detection
- Improve member services
- Reduce member travel to receive specialty care
Bringing broadband to rural communities
We support the FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program to provide broadband Internet access to rural hospitals, as well as the Keystone Health Information Exchange (KeyHIE™) to provide access to electronic health information systems and improve healthcare coordination.
The future of Telemedicine: eVisit
We’re exploring ways to make it easier to see your family doctor and avoid trips to the emergency room. “eVisit” would enable online access to a primary care provider for a variety of non-emergency conditions for both children and adults. eVisit is in the testing phase now, so stay tuned for more information!