Marshall Health News
Marshall Health launches telemedicine across 45 specialties
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The COVID-19 crisis has fast-tracked telemedicine for many health care providers, including Marshall Health. In addition to pediatric and adult primary care, Marshall Health physicians are available for virtual visits in more than 45 areas of specialty care, including addiction medicine, cardiology, dermatology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics, psychiatry, urology and more.
“Right now, we have more than 250 providers using multiple platforms to optimize the benefit for as many patients as possible,” said Larry Dial, M.D., chief medical officer for Marshall Health. “Virtual visits are currently the best option to keep our patients and employees safe while being able to closely monitor patients who need ongoing care.”
Video interactions allow clinical staff—including doctors, nurses, resident physicians, clinical pharmacists, psychologists and others—to directly interact with the patient in real time. Patients can ask and answer questions. Additionally, the provider can share their computer screen to review x-rays, labs and even confirm appropriate pharmacy information before sending prescriptions electronically to be filled for delivery or pick-up.
Among Marshall Health’s earliest telemedicine adopters was the Department of Neurology and its chair, Paul B. Ferguson, M.D., who specializes in multiple sclerosis and similar movement disorders and cares for many patients with complex conditions.
“Limiting my patients’ access to clinic visits during this global crisis is of paramount importance,” Ferguson said. “Telemedicine gives me a safe, effective way to perform much of a neurologic examination, so that I can most appropriately assess the progress of a patient’s condition.”
Dial points out that telemedicine isn’t a substitute for all face-to-face interaction with a patient.
“But as we look beyond COVID-19, telemedicine is a game changer for rural communities and patients with transportation concerns,” he said. “It’s an effective tool for providing access to quality health care when an in-person visit isn’t an option.”
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