Teleconsults use video and web-based telehealth technology to connect The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center primary care doctors to Ohio State specialists as well as connecting regional hospitals and communities to the expertise of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Our goal is to extend our ability to offer fast, timely, affordable care that is convenient for patients and referring physicians.
Access to specialists through your Ohio State primary care provider
Within our hospital system, teleconsults allow our primary care providers to quickly communicate with specialists to make or confirm a diagnosis and start treatment. This often eliminates the need for patients to follow up on a referral for a separate in-person appointment. Your primary care provider will determine if a teleconsult with a specialist is appropriate for your specific health care needs.
Our primary care team can request electronic responses to specific questions from a specialist for certain dermatology, gastroenterology, hepatology, otolaryngology, pulmonary, hematology, nephrology, cardiovascular, psychiatry, urology, endocrinology and neurology conditions. He or she will submit patient-specific clinical information through our secure electronic medical record system. This may include laboratory results, digital images and a health history. Within 48 hours, patients receive a treatment plan or recommendation, based on the collaboration between the primary care doctor and the specialist.
Connecting to Ohio State specialists from other hospitals
In some geographic areas, medical specialists are not readily available for face-to-face interactions. Many regional hospitals choose to partner with Ohio State using teleconsults when there is a time-sensitive need for a diagnosis. This allows patients to receive the immediate attention they need in the comfort of their own community. While only the health care provider may initiate the visit, this often includes evaluating and talking with the patient directly.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was the first academic health center in Ohio to implement a Telestroke Collaborative in 2011, which has since grown to more than 25 partner hospitals. When one of the participating local hospitals receives a patient exhibiting signs of a stroke, they have rapid access (within 10 minutes) to our board-certified vascular neurologists who can provide real-time consultation using video equipment, CT scans and web-based software. In addition, our team provides extensive education about initial stroke assessment and care to each of the hospitals and the EMS that serve their communities. The program allows many patients to remain in their communities for treatment. Should a patient require additional stroke care, a transfer to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is arranged.
In 2012, we launched our Teleburn Collaborative. If a patient comes in to the emergency department of a partner hospital with a burn, a mobile device allows burn specialists at Ohio State to rapidly identify the severity and determine if care can take place locally or if the patient requires more advanced reconstructive surgery for burn care at Ohio State.
Wherever there is limited access to specialists and subspecialists, Ohio State is pursuing opportunities to help referring physicians quickly consult with our nationally-ranked team. In addition to Telestroke and Teleburn, other areas where we provide teleconsultation include behavioral health, hemophilia, transplant, hepatology and genetic counseling.