There are many benefits when telehealth is used in a primary care setting. Telehealth improves access to specialists, makes quality care cost-efficient, enhances the referral process, and results in high patient satisfaction. As telemedicine becomes increasingly prevalent, more insurance plans are covering telehealth visits and consults. This not only benefits patients, but also encourages more providers to offer telehealth.
Specialists at the state's largest medical centers, regional hospitals or other settings will offer hospital-based services, such as stroke consultation, acute psychiatric evaluation and pediatric critical care.
Thanks to advances in technology, telehealth is cost-efficient. In most cases, telemedicine can be arranged with minimal infrastructure that most physician offices already have on hand: a high-speed internet connection, laptop computer and webcam. Inpatient and emergencydepartment-based services will require more sophisticated mobile telehealth carts with remote-controllable high-definition cameras. Other devices, such as hand-held examination cameras, stethoscopes, otoscopes and spirometers may be needed, depending on the specific location and services offered. The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance has already negotiated with medical equipment and software vendors to lower costs and provide the training and support to make telehealth more accessible. For more information about the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance’s guidelines for equipment and its open-access network, please review the SCTA Technical Standards.
The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance has formalized a program request process to help sites explore telehealth service development and determine IT support and equipment needs. To begin this process, sites are encouraged to complete a program request form. Be sure to provide complete, accurate information. You can complete the form by clicking here