The final installment in our five-part Telemedicine Services series on the blog. Read part one, Infectious Disease & Prevention here, part two, Clinical Pharmacist Services here, part three, Cardiology Consults & Procedures here, and part four, Hospitalist Services here.
The myriad benefits of telemedicine are well-documented in this day and age, as the method of care delivery has grown in popularity and seen widespread implementation. When it comes to subspecialist services like pulmonary procedures and consults, the benefits of telemedicine for patients and providers are unrivaled.
A study analyzing data from the pulmonary telemedicine clinic at the Milwaukee Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) brought some of these benefits to light.
The research found that “Telemedicine consultation resulted in a change in management for 41% of patients. Only 8% of patients required an in-person clinic visit at Milwaukee VAMC following a telemedicine visit. Telemedicine saved patients 473,340 km or 294,120 miles of travel over the study period.”
Ultimately, the study concluded that, “The provision of subspecialty services using telemedicine to a remote underserved rural population provides improved patient access to subspecialty care. Physicians are able to rely on medical history and radiology to manage patients across a broad spectrum of complex pulmonary conditions with the assistance of a non-physician health care provider at the remote site.”
Another study, looking at the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine for outpatient pulmonary care for a rural population, found pulmonary telemedicine “to be more cost effective ($335 per patient/year) compared to routine care ($585 per patient/year) and on-site care ($1,166 per patient/year).”
The study concluded that, “Telemedicine is a cost-effective alternative for the delivery of outpatient pulmonary care for rural populations with limited access to subspecialty services. Cost effectiveness of telemedicine is related to three major factors: cost sharing, i.e., adequate patient volume and sharing of telemedicine infrastructure amongst various clinical users; effectiveness of telemedicine in terms of patient utility and successful clinical consultations; and indirect cost savings accrued by decreasing cost of patients’ lost productivity.”
These cost savings and improvement to patient experiences are no different with Beam’s pulmonary telemedicine services. Our unique integrated telemedicine model ensures that patients receiving a pulmonary consult are attended by both a physician and a respiratory therapist who they can access before, during and after their visit with any questions that may arise. When a facility needs an expert consult on pulmonary function studies, Beam’s physicians are on-hand.
Beam’s respiratory specialists can also help with reading studies such as pulmonary function studies, and are launching a pulmonary nodule program and a lung cancer screening program soon. Stay tuned for more information on those service offerings.