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9/7/2011
06:30 PM
Stacey Peterson
Stacey Peterson
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Kaiser Permanente is using telemedicine to help patients connect remotely to specialists for same-day care in areas such as dermatology and orthopedics. It has launched the service in several regions and found it's cutting wait times. When a primary care physician determines that a patient needs to see a dermatologist, he or she takes high-resolution photos of the patient's skin conditions and transmits them to a specialist, who then contacts the patient for a phone consultation. Kaiser has also piloted another service, called the Virtual Roving Dermatologist, that offers patients video consultations with specialists at the time of their primary care visit. For orthopedic care, primary care doctors connect with specialists using mobile video carts. To date, Kaiser Permanente has found that 47% of patients requesting orthopedic teleconsultations are connected with specialists on the same day or the next day. With the Virtual Roving Dermatologist, Kaiser has found that 67% of patients received same-day consultations, with 90% receiving care within 25 minutes.

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