Dermatology Times recently reported on a Shriners Hospitals for Children initiative that used remote medical monitoring technology to help treat children suffering from burns. Across the country, the hospital group has been deploying this program at different sites to allow child patients easy access to care. Since these patients have often suffered trauma that can make travel to distant hospitals difficult, a remote visit from a doctor is a convenient alternative.
The source quotes Shriners CIO Gene D'Amore, who referenced the different steps that practices need to take to put a successful telemedicine program into action. He doesn't just refer to the technology necessary to make remote conferences work, but also the staff that need to support the program and make sure it takes root. While a video conference is conducted with a patient through a TV in their hospital room, a live nurse can be on standby to monitor the procedure.
"With a wide movement of payment reform that now covers telemedicine visits in 44 states, adoption of these technologies will likely accelerate," he said. "The technology is here, the infrastructure is here, the next step is for technology leaders to collaborate with physicians and care staff to make it happen." Speaking on the act of the conference itself, D'Amore emphasized the need for security and speed.
For conditions that are especially debilitating, the freedom of remote conferences can be a significant boon that justifies the cost and addresses previously ignored patient needs. Success depends on proper documentation as much as implementation, and healthcare consulting firms can assist in recording the process so the providers have evidence that they are on the right track. They also help when it comes to importing general IT knowledge to a particular organization so they can improve their own standards of use.