Kile Magner, CEO, at Ellinwood Hospital and Clinic, recently announced the upcoming addition of telemedicine services at the Ellinwood Clinic. Beginning later this spring, the clinic will be able to see patients for dermatology and endocrinology, through the use of a rural health focused telemedicine company called Vigilias Telehealth.
“It’s really exciting that we can make these specialty services available to our patients,” explains Magner. “Dermatology and Endocrinology are two specialties that we recognized a need in and felt that we could effectively provide, through the telemedicine service.”
Telemedicine is the use of a video link to connect a local patient with a remotely-located physician. The patient will come to the clinic, as per the norm, and be checked in and roomed by a nurse. The nurse will take all of the patient’s vitals and then report them to the physician. The telemedicine equipment will then be brought into the room, usually a computer or tablet mounted on a movable stand. The patient and the physician will be able to talk through the video link, just as if the physician was in the room.
Diane McReynolds, Clinic Manager, is looking forward to the increase in services that the Ellinwood Clinic will be able to provide. “Patients that are referred to these specialty services can receive them, here at home, rather than having to travel to get into a specialist.”
The Clinic is looking to be able to provide the new services later this spring, explains McReynolds. “We’re receiving training from our partner in how to use the equipment and schedule patients, so we’re taking our time to make sure that everything is set up correctly.” The set up includes getting new equipment and computer programs, training with them, and redesigning some of the Clinic’s workflow to incorporate the addition services and patients. “As soon as everything’s ready to go, we’ll let our patients and communities know, so we can start scheduling appointments and seeing patients,” she reports.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities. It is also used to save lives in critical care and emergency situations.
Telemedicine can be beneficial to patients in isolated communities and remote regions, who can receive care from doctors or specialists far away without the patient having to travel to visit them. Recent developments in mobile collaboration technology can allow healthcare professionals in multiple locations to share information and discuss patient issues as if they were in the same place. Remote patient monitoring through mobile technology can reduce the need for outpatient visits and enable remote prescription verification and drug administration oversight, potentially significantly reducing the overall cost of medical care. Telemedicine can also facilitate medical education by allowing workers to observe experts in their fields and share best practices more easily.
Ellinwood Hospital and Clinic is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital and Rural Health Clinic. With a 24/7 Emergency Room with 2 beds, The hospital provides inpatient acute care, skilled swing bed, and intermediate swing bed care and many outpatient services: physical and occupational therapy, a full service laboratory, and a full range of imaging services – traditional x-ray, CT, mobile mammography, mobile US/sonography, mobile MRI.
The Ellinwood Clinic offers full family care, from newborn to geriatric care, provided by practitioners that truly care about you and your health.
Vigilias Telehealth uses technology to provide cost-effective, sustainable solutions for rural hospitals, providers, and patients with one goal: making high-quality care accessible to everyone, regardless of their location, or the time of day. The company provides services to 15 communities across the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico.