Telemedicine set to reshape rural health care

Telemedicine set to reshape rural health care

Posted: Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

With the simple click of a button health care advise can be administered through a computer screen.

It is called telemedicine and it is connecting rural health care providers with the resources they previously did not have access to.

"They'll give us kind of a brief history and sometimes if we need to we can even take the camera and see the patient or they can show us some imaging if they need to and we can kind of help clarify whether they need to be transferred to a high level of care or they can possibly be discharged from that hospital to save them the trip," said Dr. Gerrid Warner.

Having that wealth of knowledge is drastically changing how hospitals in more remote areas of the country operate.

"It really saves lives, plain and simple," said David Fleenor, CEO of Muleshoe Area Medical Center. "It saves time and it saves money, not only for the patients but for the facilities so we provide better, optimal health care to rural America."

The technology is not just limited to the emergency room though. Cameras and computers are mounted inside ambulances which feed back real time information and vitals to the hospital.

"They can call us or they can call UMC directly and we have control over their camera in the ambulance and we can look at the patient, we can look at the EKG monitor," said Ginger Yaeger, a nurse at Muleshoe.

Muleshoe is currently the only hospital in the region utilizing this technology to communicate with Lubbock health care providers at UMC but Fleenor said it is already saving lives.

"We had an instance here where EMS had contacted us, showed us what was going on with the patient, our providers in our ER took a look at what was going on and basically said do not stop here," he said. "If we had taken those extra minutes to bring them by here he would have died before he got there."

He said as the technology improves he expects it to be more widely used, providing access to people who typically do not have access to immediate care.

"It's going to provide access to health care for rural communities that we have not previously held."

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 RAMAR. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.