January 1, 2016 – Remote Consult


Anchor lead:  Video links are becoming more practical for medical visits, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Video links via computer or smartphone are increasingly used for consults with physicians.  Dierdre Johnston, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, describes how much patients like a Hopkins program called PATCH, that enables her to assess people via an iPad in the comfort of their own home.

Johnston: They’re more inclined to listen to what I say, I don’t know why yet.  I think that they’re very grateful that they’re able to have the doctor see them in their home without them having to go out.  There’s a lot of reasons why  a lot of these patients don’t want to go out.  One of the reasons is they’re frail, and they fall easily.  It’s hard for them to get places and their mobility is impaired. Their vision is impaired, their hearing is impaired, the other reason is some of them live in neighborhoods it’s not safe to go out in.   :23

Johnston says a nurse goes to the home and operates the link, and the city of Baltimore has funded PATCH to provide care.  She and her patients are very happy and satisfied with this approach to psychiatric visits.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.