There’s a lot of talk going on about Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), healthcare cuts, dollar cuts, etc. Everyone from the White House to financial gurus to hospital departments of every sort are trying to figure out how to reel in the U.S. healthcare system.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas floating around. Vendors scrambling over each other in hopes of being “the one” with the next great answer are in vast supply. Headaches and heartburn aren’t so lonely themselves. But bottom line is that everyone is trying to figure out how to improve the system, keep improving patient care, and keep making money. Oh yeah, I didn’t leave out the last part because that’s one of the necessary evils of the world within which we live.
In this instance, it’s not really about the “almighty dollar” as some so fondly refer to it, but more about the patient. That’s what this is really all about and what it boils down to. Someone has to hold the healthcare industry accountable to providing safe, affordable, and most of all – effective care to the patients whom they serve. The day of dollar after dollar are done and now it’s time to figure out how to provide better service, better care, and do it with less dollars. That’s the battle of the healthcare industry today.
So, what’s the answer? Is there an answer? Probably not just one, but there are answers.
Telemed is possibly one of those great answers in the sky that will help to revive the U.S. healthcare industry. Telemed allows patients to be monitored at home for many conditions. In some instances, a simple phone and/or computer connection is all it takes. In other, more complex patient care situations such as low-birth weight babies, there may be required equipment and costs involved. According to an article by Paul Cerrato, a contributing writer for Healthcare Finance News, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston estimates they can save greater than $30,000 per patient for low-birth weight babies who meet criteria for their telemed program.
That could be a substantial savings across time and across the country. So, where is our great state of Indiana in this telemed world?
The state of Indiana, just like many others, is on the move when it comes to telemedicine. Known for their trailblazing research and initiatives, Indiana University Health and also St. Vincents are on the go connecting physicians with their patients with hundreds of miles in between. With video conferencing capabilities, interactive consults, and the ability to transmit clinical data as well, telemedicine is definitely an emerging cooperative throughout the state.
According to the Regenstrief Center of Healthcare Engineering at Purdue as reported on by Cullen McCarty – Executive Vice President for Smithville Digital in Inside Indiana Business, telemedicine is an ever emerging vital component to help connect patients and physicians throughout Indiana, especially in rural areas. The spread of high speed broadband, T-1, and fiber optic cabling is helping pave the way to make this a more viable opportunity for improving healthcare access and saving healthcare dollars.
So stand by Indiana, telemed is probably headed your way, if it’s not there already. If you happen to have experienced the wonder of telemed, please comment and share your story with all our readers.
Have you been a telemed patient in Indiana?