A New Type of Doctor's Appointment
It's just another day in the office for Dr. Karen Edison examining patients, writing prescriptions, and helping to make a difference.
But today, her patient is four hours away in Missouri's bootheel and Dr. Edison is still in Columbia. But hundreds of miles is no problem for Edison's examinations thanks to Telehealth.
"Telehealth is just simply audio/visual video conferencing," explained Edison. "So it's just on the TV. Just like you're sitting there and I'm sitting here and I'm talking to you just like you would in a normal patient visit."
For several years Telehealth has been making it possible for patients like Diedra Neffelrodt to see specialists without making the dreaded drive.
"Living in the Bootheel, we don't have access to a lot of quality specialists. And with telehealth we have access to the specialists right here in our own local clinic," explained Neffelrodt.
Now, it's better than ever with quicker technology and the ability to meet a greater variety of medical needs.
"The technology is just excellent," said Edison. "We actually did a little research study last year to see if we were making the same diagnosis in person as we were over the camera, turned out we were and we were recommending the same treatments. We feel very good about the quality of care we can deliver using that technology."
"Some of the specialties that we do are telepsychiatry, of course teledermatology," said Director of Missouri Telehealth Rachel Mutrux. "We have an autism clinic that we do every week. We do follow-ups for burns and wounds."
Telehealth allows doctors to exam patients all across Missouri. It's currently available in 31 counties.