Article Author: Emma Freer
Source: Community Impact Newspaper
Telemedicine is the provision of healthcare services to a patient by a doctor in a remote location using technology.
Or as Kristi Henderson, vice president of Patient Access, Healthcare Transformation and Virtual Care at Ascension Texas and a clinical professor at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, sees it, telemedicine is like the grocery store express lane.
“If you have a minor illness or injury and just need to have a follow-up appointment, why are you going to the line that has everybody with two buggies full of groceries and which costs more money? Why can’t you do it in an express lane?”
Although telemedicine has been practiced in Texas for years, in May 2017 the Legislature passed a bill easing restrictions on telemedicine and opening the door to increased use across the state. The bill took effect in November.
As a result of the legislation, local health care providers, including Ascension Texas, Austin Regional Clinic and CommUnity Care, have expanded their telehealth services and invested in developing new ones.