Telemedicine Enhances Care in Rural Communities

A recent post on lamented the challenges medical professionals face treating and following-up care with patients in rural communities. It also highlights perfectly the opportunities we have to engage technology to improve care delivery for patients.

The May 2018 post, “The Medicare merry-go-round in geriatric psychiatry,” described how one psychiatrist successfully treated a 78-eight-year-old woman with vascular dementia. After that initial visit, she became stable about 10 days into the treatment.

It was the follow-up where things fell apart. Upon discharge, the patient had to rely on her physician, who wasn’t comfortable writing for refills for the psychiatric medications. So she went without medications, because in this part of rural Mississippi, according to the author, “there was simply nowhere for her to follow up psychiatrically, no one in her area doing geriatric psychology outpatient.”

That’s exactly the kind of gap Tapestry Telehealth is working to fill.

Tapestry Telehealth’s multi-specialty medical group helps rural health centers, the offices of rural primary care providers and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) expand their offerings to become a hub for high-quality primary and specialty care services that better serve patients.

Using advanced technology, Tapestry Telehealth’s full spectrum of clinicians work virtually in these rural centers, making them a one-stop-shop for advanced care that better serves patients.

Tapestry Telehealth offers primary care services and medical specialists, but also psychiatry and behavioral health services as well.

So when we think about the plight of that 78-eight-year-old patient in the story, and the lament of the psychiatrist that “there was simply nowhere for her to follow up psychiatrically,” we know that technology truly can change the equation.

Patients no longer need to wait for specialty consults or travel long distances for basic care. Telemedicine can bring the care directly to them, on demand and at the flick of a button.