Telecommunications Takes Healthcare Outside the Box

Thursday, October 13, 2016/Categories: Telemedicine, Business

A baby was born blue with no breath at a rural hospital in Oregon. Suddenly, a neonatal specialist joined the room to help the E.R. team save the baby’s life. Within minutes of working together, they were able to revive the baby and get her breathing normally on her own. Today she is 14 pounds, alive and well. Her mother credits the doctors for saving her life. The doctors credit telecommunications.

The neonatal specialist was never physically in the emergency room. She was 40 miles away in Portland when she got the call. Using a two way, robotic-telecommunication machine, she was right there over the shoulder of the emergency doctors the entire time. She could literally see everything that was going on and provide critical, immediate, life-saving guidance.

Telecommunications has stretched medical care far beyond the walls of a hospital. Whether the patient is working in an arctic research lab, sailing the ocean, living in a remote community, disabled at home, or busy on the job, healthcare professionals can offer treatment suggestions from miles away through the benefit of telemedicine.

The benefits of telemedicine have been recorded and reported time and again. For instance, in a case study involving adults with diabetes, telemedicine case managers found that healthcare professionals such as dieticians and nurses were extremely satisfied with the effectiveness and viability of telemedicine. Some of the reported benefits included improved reach, accurate and timely monitoring, efficiency in data management, increased patient contact frequency, and overall efficiency. 

The American Telemedicine Association states that almost 200,000 Americans receive medical treatment right in the comfort of their own homes with the help of mobile monitoring units and telehealth units. The growing demand for telemedicine has been fueled by factors such as technological advancement, higher healthcare costs, an aging population, and the commonality of chronic medical conditions.

Even if you’re within an hour’s drive of a doctor, there are many reasons to consider a telemedicine alternative for your next appointment:

Convenience. A lunch-hour visit with your doctor can prove challenging, especially when a conference call absorbs the bulk of your afternoon. Telemedicine eases this problem. Through video, web chat, or phone, workers can follow-up on a prescription or diagnosis without sabotaging their daily schedule.  

Less time in the waiting room. Waiting rooms are busy places where people are often sick. With telemedicine, you can login, answer a few questions, and get back to your day within minutes, without catching someone else’s flu.

Cost-efficiency. Increasingly, doctors are charging less for a telemedicine consultation than for in person visits. Those who travel a great distance for an appointment can save a considerable amount of money in travel costs.

Expedited transmission of MRIs or X-rays for a second opinion. Telemedicine improves communication between patients and their medical practitioners. In-person visits and traditional mail are no longer required for many second opinions.

Privacy assurance. Providers that engage in telemedicine comply with HIPAA laws, which aim to prevent private or secure medical documents from being leaked. It’s safe and it’s private.

Do you know someone who has utilized telemedicine?

If you know someone who works at Consolidated Communications, then chances are the answer is yes!  One of our newest and most exciting employee benefits is the availability of Doctor on Demand. Doctor on Demand offers cost-effective, simple, and quick access to a range of medical experts via its telemedicine solutions. The video visits can be conducted via intelligent devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Doctor on Demand also works with Google to help patients locate pharmacies and collect prescriptions in an instant. Using Google Map APIs such as JavaScript and Geolocation, Doctor on Demand provides patients with a map containing the locations of all the pharmacies near to them. Patients can go to these pharmacies and call or video chat with their doctors on the spot to collect prescriptions.

We’re powering up the health care industry!
Consolidated Communications takes great pride in providing services for many medical facilities across the U.S. We understand that every second of uptime is critical when lives are at stake. With a robust fiber backbone and round-the-clock monitoring, our systems give medical providers the consistent, reliable, unwaveringly powerful strength they need to take care of the people they serve.  Whether they see patients by phone, by monitor, or in person, we’re committed to keeping medical providers running strong and healthy every day.

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