LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — At Franciscan Health in Crawfordsville, telemedicine is used regularly.
"We absolutely utilize it more than ever," said Kelsie Dickerson, Patient Care Coordinator at Crawfordsville Franciscan Health. "We don't have the resources here for certain physicians with certain specialties that require someone to lay eyes on the patient."
And having the option to consult a specialist isn't something rural communities have always had easy access to.
Dr. Daniel Wicket, V.P. of Medical Affairs at Franciscan Health said: "Having specialty care in those rural hospitals and having those physicians be on the ground or people at the hospital that's more and more of a challenge as we move forward."
Recruiting specialists to rural hospitals has always been a challenge, which is why Telemedicine is vital to rural care facilities.
"If we didn't have a neurologist here to see the patient run down the screen make sure that they are appropriate to receive TPA which is a blood clot buster that could actually save their life if they are having a true stroke," said Kelsie Dickerson.
The machine allows specialists to be able to treat patients in rural areas they can see everything they need through two high definition cameras. Multiple ports allow the specialist to be able to monitor the patient's vitals as well."
And having access to specialists in rural areas allows patients to stay closer to home instead of being transferred to a larger facility a distance away.