Rural Patients Satisfied with Doctor Interaction Via Telemedicine
A recent article published in the Grand Forks Herald reported that the increased use of telemedicine in rural areas has proven an asset for doctors who can use the technology to talk with and manage patients from a distance. Both doctors and patients are reportedly satisfied with the convenience offered by the telemedicine, as it allows frequent communication, progress reports, and condition assessment without traveling long distances to an office.
Altru Health System in Grand Forks, ND reported that it has begun using telemedicine to care for a wide variety of patients including neurology, diabetes, infectious disease, bariatrics, pulmonology, and prosthetics. Through the telemedicine technology, doctors can communicate with patients and their local nurses to assess conditions and solve problems, if necessary. The benefit is that patients with decreased mobility don’t have to travel for check-ups and doctors can incorporate the video interactions into their daily schedules.
According to the article, there were initial concerns that elderly patients would not respond well to technology in place of physical visits, but Marsha Waind, manager of regional services of Altru Health System, says those doubts have since vanished. “I have seen 85-year-old patients who’ve never been on a video connection of any kind, open up and speak candidly and directly with their doctors,” said Waind.
The article reports that the telemedicine initiative will be further implemented into the current network of 16 North Dakota medical providers; doing so will help improve patient care and satisfaction and reduce the costs that come with frequent patient transportation and office visits.
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