Telemed in PA: How Technology is Changing Health Care for the Better

Telemedicine is changing the way Pennsylvanians access health care. Using electronic communications technology, including two-way video, email, smartphones, and wireless tools, providers can deliver high-quality health care to patients.

Telemedicine connects patients to specialists who are far away, saving time and money. The services delivered through telemedicine range from lifesaving to routine care—supporting the right care, at the right time, and in the right setting for Pennsylvanians.

What telemedicine can do for you:

  • Improves access to health care services and specialists
  • Offers convenient health care on your schedule
  • Offers an alternative to “in-person” health care in certain medical situations
  • Addresses the shortage of providers, including behavioral health providers
  • Provides quality lifesaving, routine, and preventive health care
  • Saves travel time and costs for patients, especially in rural areas

Telemedicine is improving access to health care for Pennsylvanians and providing support for community health as a whole. Here are some of the hospitals and medical providers using telemedicine to improve outcomes in our state.

Teleburn

Lehigh Valley Health Network has Pennsylvania’s largest and busiest teleburn practice. Using a secure TeleBurn app, practitioners at a local hospital take photos of burn injuries and send them to experts at a specialized hospital burn center for immediate consultation. The center can help the local facility treat patients there, close to home, or determine if the injuries are serious enough to warrant transfer to a burn center.

Lehigh Valley Health Network reports that teleburn lowers costs, improves patient safety, and increases burn care access and quality.

Teleneonatology

Wayne Memorial Hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania recently began using telemedicine and advanced teleneonatology equipment to provide specialized care to new and expecting mothers and their babies. The service gives staff almost instant access to neonatal intensive care specialists at Lehigh Valley Hospital 104 miles away.

The service allows infants whose parents live in sparsely populated rural areas to receive care from specialists in another, often distant, medical facility. Depending on a baby’s health issues, this virtual assessment and specialized care can eliminate the emotional stress of transferring the infant to a faraway medical center.

Telestroke

Telestroke centers are designed to provide specialty care to people who have suffered a stroke. Qualified neurologists examine brain scans and use carotid artery procedures to reduce the likelihood of another stroke. They also provide recommendations for treatment.

Telepsychiatry

Medical professionals are using telepsychiatry to combat the rising number of drug-related fatalities while providing psychiatric medical assistance to Pennsylvanians.

Telepsych involves a range of services, including psychiatric evaluations, therapy, education, and medication. The treatment options offered through telepsych provide patients with resources to overcome their opioid dependencies remotely—an ideal solution for people who cannot travel long distances for treament.

This format of live-feed appointments addresses the shortage of doctors in rural areas of Pennsylvania, and it allows patients to connect with world-renowned psychiatric specialists from their homes, clinics, offices, and other settings.

Technology has changed the way we do many things in our everyday lives, and now it is here to change Pennsylvania’s health care system for the better.