My last doctor’s visit, I sat in the office for about an hour past my scheduled appointment before being called into the back. I grumbled about the service, how my time was wasted, and how typical this was of the industry. These are the things we all love to hate about the doctor; they seem to always be running behind schedule, and they have completely illegible handwriting. These are also the things we take for granted, living in or nearby a city with easy access to care.
Imagine, however, you live in the rural part of your state, which represents “about 20 percent of America’s population,” and yet “less than ten percent of physicians practice in those communities” according to the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) (2011), linked with the Department of Health and Human Services. Your complaints would likely extend beyond the waiting room, and certainly carry much more weight.
With its partnership with Cisco, the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth (GPT) was able to transform the way their state practices medicine, giving healthcare access to the underprivileged and underserved populations whose needs were being overlooked. Local doctors can consult with specialists in the city center; children can receive psychological care through high quality video; and a person suffering from a stroke can be assessed by a neurologist in a matter of minutes in order to receive the proper medication to avoid further damage.
With the power of in-person via Cisco TelePresence, GPT has not only implemented a system that has made the lives of Georgians easier, setting the bar high for healthcare providers across the United States, but they have changed the lives of their doctors too. Georgia’s doctors and specialists can extend their reach while remaining close to top Universities and research centers, honing their practice to deliver better care.
Read more about Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth here.