What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine uses the latest computing technology, software, medical cameras, and high-speed telecommunications to enable physicians to conduct medical examinations and consults remotely.
Why use telemedicine?
Through telemedicine, rural patients receive greater access to specialty care. These patients often have difficulty seeing a specialist because they do not have specialty practice near their home and must travel long distances for specialty appointments.
Do patients favor telemedicine?
Yes. Patients appreciate telemedicine clinics for a number of reasons. Patients can have appointments with physicians in distant locations without having to leave their local area and gain access to specialty medical services that may not be available near them. Working patients miss work less due to travel time saved. In a 2011 study conducted by Mercer University, on average of 124 miles traveled.
How does telemedicine work?
The local physician or patient can connect to a remote physician or specialist in real time using video conferencing software and medical scopes and cameras. There are four basic steps to a telemedicine encounter:
- The primary care provider refers the patient to a specialist.
- An appointment is scheduled through the GPT scheduling center with a participating specialist.
- The patient arrives for the appointment and consults with the remote physician face to face via video.
- The consulting physician makes recommendations for patient care to a referring physician.
How do telemedicine clinics gain consent from patients?
Prior to being seen in a telemedicine clinic, patients (or parents/guardians) must fill out a comprehensive health questionnaire. This packet will include HIPPA forms and written acknowledge that telemedicine will be used as well as any other necessary patient consent forms.
What telemedicine services does GPT provide?
- Specialists for both adult and pediatric patients. GPT connects to practices across over 45 different specialties.
- Primary Care
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Mental Health
- Child Advocacy Centers
- School Systems
- Continuing Education
- Consulting Services in program design, development, and implementation.
Does telemedicine steal patients and money from local providers?
No. GPT strongly believes in bolstering, not eroding, existing healthcare communities. Usually when a telemedicine consult is needed, it is because that specialty or level of care is not offered locally. Local providers can benefit by receiving reimbursement for being a telemedicine presentation site.