Technology has improved the way healthcare is delivered. Clinical telemedicine, for example, uses interactive video, audio and a secure, high-speed Internet-based connection to link patients in rural locations, like Gundersen Lutheran – Decorah Clinic, with medical specialists at Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse—in real time.
For patients who live in the Decorah area and suffer from movement disorders, telemedicine now gives them easier, timelier access to Gundersen Lutheran neurologist Jason Aldred, MD, at the Gundersen Lutheran – Decorah Clinic.
Movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia have significant impact on a patient's quality of life. "Patients who have movement disorders not only have physical and functional limitations, but also social interaction, communications confidence and self-esteem can also be negatively affected," explains Dr. Aldred. "Our telemedicine technology is allowing those patients to receive the ongoing care they need, without having to travel."
Thanks to technologies such as electronic medical records and digital X-rays, a primary care provider in Decorah can easily share relevant clinical information, test results and other case details with Dr. Aldred prior to the telemedicine exam. Dr. Aldred may order additional diagnostic tests or treatments which, in many cases, can be provided at the Gundersen Lutheran –Decorah Clinic or other area healthcare facilities. For first-time patients or those needing an extensive exam, Dr. Aldred will need to see the patient in person at Gundersen Lutheran Neurosciences in La Crosse.
The telemedicine unit is equipped with a room camera and handheld patient exam camera. The cameras deliver high-definition clarity and offer elements such as a zoom feature for close-up views of areas of clinical interest. The unit also has a stethoscope so while the nurse or medical assistant in Decorah listens to the patient's heart or lung sounds, Dr. Aldred hears the same thing in La Crosse. There is also a view screen so the patient is able to see and talk with Dr. Aldred as well.