Growing adoption of electronic health records is expected to complement and boost the use of telehealth initiatives across the country, InformationWeek reports.
Health care organizations are planning to deploy telehealth programs to increase access:
- To certain specialists;
- For patients with conditions that prevent them from traveling; and
- During patient transport, since some conditions require treatment while patients are in transit.
Greater use of EHRs will provide remote specialists with more detailed data about patients. Digital medical images, ranging from picture-archiving systems to digital cameras, also can provide more information to providers.
InformationWeek described several telehealth initiatives, including:
- The use of telemedicine gear -- including videos and digital stethoscopes -- to help physicians treat pediatric patients in transit to hospitals in the area in and around Cincinnati, Ohio;
- Telestroke, an application that links hospitals without stroke specialists to specialists at other hospitals; and
- An effort to offer telehealth services to employees on-site at company facilities (Kolbasuk McGee, InformationWeek, 4/27).