CAH unveils telehealth services

CAH unveils telehealth services

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Carlinville Area Hospital recently announced that patients now have a new way to see a doctor: virtually. SIU Medicine’s Office of Telehealth and Clinical Outreach has brought virtual health care to patients in the Carlinville area. Through telehealth services, patients can visit Springfield-area medical providers in more than 15 specialties — including neurology, pulmonary medicine, dermatology, urology, endocrinology, vascular surgery, plastic surgery, psychiatry and pediatrics — using videoconferencing technology in the hospital instead of having to travel to Springfield.

“Our patients are going to appreciate the ease and convenience of telehealth appointments,” said Chief Nursing Officer Sara McPeak. “Instead of driving more to Springfield or St. Louis for specialized care, patients can stay in their own community.”

An SIU Telehealth virtual visit is the same as a regular face-to-face cases and, in most cases, is covered by insurance, according to Nina Antoniotti, SIU Executive Director of Telehealth and Clinical Outreach. High definition audio and videoconferencing technology enables the provider to deliver the same level of care as in-person visits.

“IU Telehealth allows our patients to stay local and use our facility to continue their care,” said CEO Ken Reid. “Patients will be guided through their telehealth visit by a clinical telepresenter who has been specially trained by SIU to ensure the process goes smoothly and the patient is comfortable.”

“The future of health care is in providing convenient, specialized care to residents in rural areas,” added Antoniotti. “SIU Telehealth delivers health care services, such as consultative services, follow-up care and second opinions, close to home. Rather than attempting to move some of our most vulnerable patients around the state, we’re moving the care around to better serve them.

According to the hospital, telehealth also leads to improved access to care and reduced time from referral to appointment, improved patient outcomes, lower out-of-pocket costs for patients, more appropriate hospital admissions and lower re-admissions, and lower medical and pharmacy costs.

“We’ve spent the last several months working with SIU to install and test our videoconferencing technology to ensure the integration will yield high quality patient outcomes,” said Reid. “We’re combining the expertise of SIU Medicine providers, the power of technology and a convenient location to effectively diagnose and treat patients, and we believe we’ll see a healthier community as a result.”

For a complete list of SIU Telehealth services, visit siumed.edu/telehealth.