Doctors & Patients Benefit From Online Visits

We do just about everything on line these days: Bank, shop - even take classes. Now more local doctors are seeing patients online.
Serese Cole shows us how Telemedicine is helping them reach patients in small communities .

These ladies have a few things in common. They love a good game of cards, spending time with the girls and they all regularly see their doctor.

But a routine doctor's visit could soon change for all of us..

Just ask University of Nebraska Medical Center Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatrist - Tom Magnuson. This is how he spends 40-percent of his time at work now - treating patients - via video conference. The skype-like technology's called Vidyo. It allows him to see patients in 12 different nursing home across Nebraska.

"So instead of them traveling 200-300 miles to come and see me. which could make it almost prohibitive, we can actually see them not only in their home communities, but in the actual place they live - which makes a huge difference - they seem to be more comfortable there."

With just two clicks, he's on with Edyie Schard, the director of nursing at the Cloverland Care Center in St. Edward. She admits getting her patients to Dr. Magnuson would be...

"It would be a nightmare. First of all they're exhausted. Second of all they're very crabby because there's no place to stop along the go to the bathroom and it's just when they're in their a whole different environment - their whole attitude is different. Here they can come right up from their room - we can take this to their room - and they're fine, ' said Schard.

Serese Cole, "The Technology even allows a patient's family to get in on the doctor's video visit . So a concerned son or daughter who lives out of town can be right there as the doctor talks with their mom or dad.

These ladies can't decide if Telemedicine is for them.

"Saves you a trip," said one of the ladies."

"He's sitting in his office and I'm sitting at can do," responded another.

But Dr.Magnuson says patients are responding and predicts more video visits to come.

Vidyo works anywhere there's a good internet connection...and it doesn't cost the facility anything to use it.
The connection itself is secure and in high-definition - and it can even work on I-pads. The technology isn't just convenient for patients, It also means patients don't have to pay to be transported to see a specialist.

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