Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
December is National Telehealth Month
Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies. Telehealth delivery can be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone or as complex as robotic technology. Technologies used in telehealth are: videoconferencing, the Internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
Did you know that the Charlie Norwood VAMC (CNVAMC) practices three types of Telehealth? Clinical Video Telehealth uses real time video teleconferencing equipment for a “face to face” visit between a physician and a patient when distance separates those receiving services. We have an Infectious Disease Clinic and a Hepatitis C Education Clinic where the patient is located at the Dublin VA and the provider is located in Augusta. Also we have a Spinal Cord Injury Wound Clinic where the provider is located in Augusta and the patient can be located at one of seven spoke VA facilities.
Care Coordination Store-and-Forward Telehealth technologies acquire and store clinical information (e.g. data, image, sound, video) that is then forwarded to (or retrieved by) another site for clinical evaluation. Store and Forward Telehealth technology is used in our Teleretinal Imaging clinic that screens Veterans with diabetes for retinopathy.
Care Coordination Home Telehealth (CCHT) at the CNVAMC uses remote monitoring devices placed into patients homes to send patient reminders, provide them feedback on their progress and provide tips for managing their disease more effectively. Augusta has four CCHT programs including Depression, CHF, Hypertension and Diabetes. These programs in VHA have demonstrated reduced hospital admissions, clinic and emergency room visits.
Telehealth is just one more way the Charlie Norwood VAMC is “doing everything we can for Veterans!