Carlinville Area Hospital Unveils Telehealth Services

Videoconferencing technology provides convenient, specialized care.

Patients in the Carlinville area now have a new way to see the doctor: telehealth. SIU Medicine’s Office of Telehealth and Clinical Outreach has brought virtual health care to patients in the Carlinville area. Through telehealth services, patients can visit Springfield area medical providers using videoconferencing technology in the hospital instead of having to travel to Springfield. Patients will have convenient access to advanced care in more than 15 specialties, including neurology, pulmonary medicine, dermatology as well as pediatrics.

“Our patients are going to appreciate the ease and convenience of telehealth appointments,” said Sara McPeak, Chief Nursing Officer. “Instead of driving to Springfield or St. Louis for specialized care, patients can stay in their own community.”

An SIU Telehealth virtual visit is the same as a regular face-to-face office visit and, in most cases, is covered by insurance, said SIU Executive Director of Telehealth and Clinical Outreach Nina Antoniotti, PhD, MBA, RN. High definition audio and videoconferencing technology enables the provider to deliver the same level of care as in-person visits.

“SIU Telehealth allows our patients to stay local and use our facility to continue their care,” said Ken Reid, CEO. “Patients will be guided through their telehealth visit by a clinical telepresenter who has been specially trained by SIU to ensure the process goes smoothly and the patient is comfortable.” Telehealth benefits both patients and the provider, Antoniotti added. “The future of health care is in providing convenient, specialized care to residents in rural areas. SIU Telehealth delivers health care services, such as consultative services, follow-up care and second opinions, close to home. Rather than attempting to move some our most vulnerable patients around the state, we’re moving the care around to better serve them.” Telehealth also leads to:

• Improved access to care and reduced time from referral to appointment
• Improved patient outcomes
• Lower out-of-pocket costs for patients
• More appropriate hospital admissions and lower re-admissions
• Lower medical and pharmacy costs

The announcement is a significant milestone for Carlinville Area Hospital. “We’ve spent the last several months working with SIU to install and test our videoconferencing technology to ensure the integration will yield high quality patient outcomes,” said Ken Reid, CEO. “We’re combining the expertise of SIU Medicine providers, the power of technology and a convenient location to effectively diagnose and treat patients, and we believe we’ll see a healthier community as a result.”

SIU Telehealth technology is currently installed in 11 locations throughout rural Illinois and treats patients virtually in more than 15 specialty areas including urology, endocrinology, vascular surgery, plastic surgery, psychiatry and dermatology.

For a complete list of SIU Telehealth services, visit www.siumed.edu/telehealth. Patients wishing to access SIU Telehealth should work through their local physician or call SIU Medicine at 217-545-8000.