Telehealth technology has arrived at Logan Regional Hospital and the Budge Surgical Service Clinic. It is a service that connects patients with specialists at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.
Budge Clinic Assistant Operations Officer Kris Larsen explains the process.
“There is a large computer monitor in the room where the patient sits,” said Larsen. “The provider in Murray has the same kind of set up. One can see the other via a webcam and microphone.”
High-definition cameras, audio equipment and televisions are used to complete the connection into private conference or examination rooms.
Currently the service is connecting patients with infectious disease specialists at Intermountain.
“This is very effective in situations like follow-up visits where previously you would have to drive to Salt Lake City for a 5-10 minute appointment. Now that can be done with this technology and you never leave the valley.”
Limited access to specialty care is a challenge hospitals in rural communities have always dealt with. But since patients get sick everywhere this service provides the possibility severe infections can be identified in every facility, even those without an infectious disease subspecialist.
Larsen said the program also helps provide oversight and support for antibiotic stewardship, a top concern for the UN and World Health Organization.