Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communication to improve a patient’s clinical health status.
In 2003 Infectious Disease Specialists, PC, developed a telemedicine program to provide infection disease consultations at rural hospitals and clinics. Since then, the program has expanded to several regional hospitals and clinics and has greatly impacted the care of patients with severe and complex infections. At present about 450 patients are seen per month via telemedicine at several hospitals and clinics. These include patients in several settings, including intensive care units and long-term care facilities.
Infectious disease physicians provide urgent same-day consultations for hospitalized patients, and the majority of outpatient telemedicine consultations are seen within a week. Telemedicine infectious disease consultations provide guidance for appropriate anti-microbial therapy and duration. These patients are also followed regularly via telemedicine to monitor response to antibiotics as well as for adverse reactions and toxicities.