Telemedicine Option Is Available Locally In Transylvania County

 

October 19, 2017



The age old occupation - medicine - is merging with cutting edge technology in the form of telemedicine. And as a result, Western North Carolina citizens will have easier access to health care.

Telemedicine allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnoses and treat patients in remote locations using video conferencing from the patients smart phone, lap top or computer. It is even being used in rural hospitals to link the patient with specialiste or night coverage physicians that would otherwise not be accessible or affordable.

The benefits of telemedicine are astronomical. Data reports that using telemedicine could reduce the cost of primary and urgent care visits by as much as 20 percent and could reduce emergency department visits by as much as 15 percent.

Illness such as pink eye, upper respiratory infections, skin rashes, flu symptoms and urinary tract infections are just a few of illness that can be treated via urgent care telemedicine.

Dr. Bonnie Green, board certified in family medicine, is one local physician who practices telemedicine in North Carolina. Her telehealth platform is found at http://www.bonniegreenmd.com.


“I started doing telemedicine in January 2017. I was amazed at the patient response to this new type of patient encounter. One of the most important parts of a patient visit is the history. And often, after hearing the history, the physician knows the diagnosis. So telehealth uses this old schooling along with the patient directed exam to help diagnosis and treat the patient,” she said.

Green states the typical patient wait time is 5 minutes and the typical visit last about 15-20 minutes. The patient can call from home, work or even in the car. After the visit, telemedicine providers can send a prescription to the patient’s pharmacy of choice, send the patient a work/school excuse and even send patient health education material to their email. Each patient receives a copy of their clinic encounter to give to their primary care physician.

“Currently telemedicine is not a replacement for a patient’s primary care provider,” said Dr. Green. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension must still have the physician’s touch. Urgent care telemedicine can not manage such conditions remotely.


However, telehealth is a less expensive, quicker, more accessible option for those patients who find themselves sick and in need of a physician.

 
 

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